Live from Hartford, Connecticut this is the Raw Deal for episode #1101. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Here's my review of WWE Money in the Bank from Sunday night and I also wrote about the things WWE did right at MITB too. I decided to add in some WWE.com photos in this to break up all the text in this. It won't be for every match or segment.
There was a slow motion video package about Money in the Bank's main event as John Cena overcame the odds like he's done so many times to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for his 15th WWE/World Title.
The show begins with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon aka The Authority for a promo. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed us to the show.
Stephanie mentioned she was actually born in the city of Hartford and said the fans felt privileged. There were "CM Punk" chants as Stephanie tried talking about Money in the Bank. She put over Seth Rollins winning the Money in the Bank contract ladder match. I noticed a Greek flag in the audience, which pains me after the painful World Cup loss on Sunday. I'm Greek; Canton is a pen name. Hunter talked about the eight man ladder match for the WWE Title with the A+ player John Cena winning. Hunter mentioned that he became the "unbelievable 15 time World Champion" and he brought out John Cena.
Cena entered with both titles draped around his neck. Cole called him "controversial" upon his arrival. When is he controversial? Rarely. Cena was reluctant to shake Hunter's hand. Cena said that The Authority will not give Daniel Bryan an opportunity at the titles he never lost, but Cena said he would. It was announced by Stephanie that John Cena would be featured on the cover of the next WWE video game WWE2K15. The 15 represents 2015 for next year, but also matches his number of title wins. They revealed the cover in the ring. Stephanie was mock singing Cena's song as his music played, but thankfully she didn't have the microphone by her mouth.
Cena wondered why they were being way too nice way too soon. He showed a pic of their faces at the end of Money in the Bank when Hunter and Stephanie looked upset. Cena said they can't control him, so whether they like it or not the champ is here. Hunter was mocking the rap of Cena. That was hilarious as he made of Cena with the "R"s when he talks. Hunter told him he didn't have a problem with Cena as long as he shows them respect. Hunter gave him the "easy way or hard way" line. Cena said he'll do things the hard way like he always does.
Hunter announced that Cena would defend the WWE Title at Battleground in a Fatal Four Way (or Fatal Fourway or Fatal 4-Way - lots of choices!) match. Hunter said Randy Orton, Kane and Roman Reigns are the others in the match. Later on Raw it's Cena & Reigns against Kane & Orton. Cena kept mocking Stephanie over the fact that she was swimming in a pool of crap last week. Cena left.
Analysis: My immediate thought was that The Authority was so mad that Roman Reigns was in Money in the Bank, yet they put him in a title match just like that? That's a bit weird.
That's not the end of it. Hunter reminded Cena that if he survives the WWE Title match at Battleground he has to watch out because there's always a plan B. That led to Seth Rollins entering with his MITB briefcase that he can use to cash in on the WWE Champion at any time. He just walked by Cena without doing anything.
Analysis: That was a solid promo because it's been a while since we've seen Cena interacting with them. He was in serious mode for the most part, so he was tolerable. The end of the promo with Rollins coming out was a good idea since it puts that cash in possibility into the mind of the viewer. It's been a while since we've seen a Fatal Four Way main event at a PPV, so I'm okay with it. As most of us know, Cena's likely going to walk out of that match as the WWE Champion so he can meet Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. They can also keep Orton and Reigns apart in a singles match until SummerSlam too.
Coming up later is Sheamus & The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family. Rollins was shown posing with Hunter and Stephanie in the ring.
Retro Raw Deal from five years ago: I'm re-posting my Raw Deal review columns from five years ago every Sunday, so be sure to check out the June 29, 2009 edition. I post the original version and I also add in comments. In this week's show I mark out over the new tag team champions, John Cena and Triple H win matches like usual and Mark Henry comes back. Check it out.
Seth Rollins vs. Rob Van Dam
RVD controlled the action early on with several kicks to the head followed by a standing moonsault. Both guys were limping around a bit due to injuries from the contract ladder match. RVD applied a leg lock, so Rollins went to the floor and when RVD went out there he was met by a Rollins clothesline. There's a vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Rollins was in control of the action. Rollins was selling his back injury throughout the match. Rollins went for his powerbomb into the corner, but RVD countered it into a hurricanrana. That was sweet. Rollins went to the floor, so RVD nailed a cross body block on him outside the ring. Fans chanted "this is awesome" for that. Already? They're easy to please. They fought on the apron with Rollins twisting RVD's knee into the middle rope. Rollins hit the Cub Stomp and that was enough for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
Analysis: **1/2 The winner was obvious since RVD rarely wins anymore. There were a couple of big movews with RVD's counter of the powerbomb and then the cross body block outside the ring. It's important for Rollins to win matches like that to stay strong after winning the briefcase.
After the match, Renee Young interviewed Rollins. He told her to introduce him as "Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins" and said it wasn't arrogance if you can back it up. Rollins told the fans that he was right and they were wrong. This is his golden ticket. He was saying he always gets what he wants, but Dean Ambrose appeared on the big screen. Ambrose said Rollins didn't win on his own because his daddy HHH and uncle Kane had to help him. Ambrose thought that it might be more fun this way. He told Rollins every time he thinks he is going to cash in the briefcase he (Ambrose) will be there. Ambrose: "Every time you try to cash it in it's going to blow up in your face, Seth. Believe that." Rollins didn't seem fazed by it.
Analysis: Ambrose continues his rise as one of the best talkers in WWE. His tone, delivery and verbiage is perfect. Rollins is doing well as a heel too. This feud is still in the very early stages, which is great. I look forward to seeing more from them with a match possible at Battleground as well as another one at SummerSlam. Both of them are going to benefit from this rivalry.
We were reminded of two tag matches to come. It's a tag team special kind of night. Teddy Long loves it.
It's time for Rusev with the lovely Lana. It looks like they've dropped the promos by Lana on the ramp and are just doing them in the ring. Lana said America is used to failures, so the crowd chanted "USA" to cut her off. She mocked America for saying they're the greatest nation in the world. She mentioned Russia's Vladimir Putin as the leader of the greatest country in the world. He spoke in a foreign language and said "Rusev crush" to end the promo. The crowd chanted "USA" again.
Jack Swagger entered the arena along with Zeb Colter. Zeb said he was sick of them slamming the USA every week, so he told her to shut the hell up. He brought up the Freedom of Speech as he called them Natasha and Boris. Zeb said they've taken advantage of America's freedoms. Colter said he thinks a Real American can stop the "Rusev Crush" as Swagger looked on. He led the crowd in rising, putting their hand over their heart and saying: "We The People." Lana was just laughing at them. She prevented Rusev from doing anything. The fans were chanting "let's go Swagger" for this. Swagger hit Rusev with an arm drag followed by another one. Rusev went to the floor as Lana yelled about it.
Analysis: That was a really good segment. Wow. It looks like a babyface turn for Swagger and Colter. The crowd completely bought into it too. Part of the reason it worked so well is because Rusev has been booked so strongly for the past few months. Whoever stepped up to him was going to get cheered, but it was helped by Colter's effective promo and Swagger showing no fear in standing up to him. Since the fans loving chanting "we the people" it makes a lot of sense to have them feud.
Sheamus and The Usos were shown backstage getting ready for their match up next.
Sheamus made his entrance first followed by The Usos and then the Wyatt Family. The sea of cell phones with the lights during the Wyatt entrance is pretty cool.
Sheamus & The Usos vs. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
The Usos hit a double clothesline on Rowan to send him over the top to the floor. That's another vintage floor to commercial break. They went to break less than one minute into the match.
Analysis: That was a quick commercial.
Back from break, Rowan slammed Jimmy Uso down by the hair. The announcers wondered if Harper did laundry as Jimmy hit a corkscrew body attack and tagged in Sheamus, who went after Rowan. High running knee by Sheamus followed by ten forearm shots to the chest. Sheamus went to the top rope and he took out Rowan & Harper with a cross body block. Back in the ring, powerslam by Sheamus on Rowan. Wyatt distracted Sheamus, so Rowan nailed him with a clothesline that sent Sheamus outside the ring. Harper tagged in and nailed Sheamus with a running boot to the face that was kind of like a Brogue Kick. Wyatt tagged in to hit a running back splash. Rowan hit a slam then splash on Sheamus for two. More quick tags for the Wyatt Family as Wyatt hit a huge uppercut while Sheamus was on the top rope, so Sheamus went to the floor again. Wyatt led the crowd in singing "he's got the whole world in his hands" while Sheamus tried to fight back. The fans chanted "JBL" which is bad to do during a good match. Back in the ring, Harper hit a standing side kick on Sheamus.
Jey received the hot tag from Sheamus and he sent Harper out of the ring. He followed that up with a dive over the top to take out Harper. Jump kick to the head by Jey followed by a superkick for two after Rowan saved. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Rowan. Jimmy hit a dive to take out Rowan outside the ring. One armed slam by Wyatt on Sheamus, but then he ducked out of the way of a Jey attack. Harper capitalized with a spinning clothesline on Jey for the win after 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Wyatt Family
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a great tag match just like the one at Money in the back when it was a regular two on two tag. Wyatt's boys were crafty towards the end of the match as Wyatt ducked an attack and then Harper finished him off. Sheamus was on fire. Even though I wouldn't mind him as a heel, he does know how to fire up as a babyface in matches like this. His moves are definitely popular with the fans. As for the finish, it was a typical case of WWE getting a team a win back after losing the night before. It's likely going to lead to another Usos vs. Harper/Rowan tag match.
Backstage, Tom Phillips interviewed Nikki Bella. She didn't think she was making a mistake by inviting Brie to Money in the Bank. Stephanie showed up. Stephanie told Nikki she had a match with Brie against the Funkadactyls. Then she sarcastically remembered Brie wasn't there because she quit, so Nikki had to wrestle alone and she had to change because the match is next.
Analysis: Good story continuity. Obviously building to Brie's return at some point, but it could be a while.
There was a limo that showed up for a former WWE Champion.
"Ladies and gentlemen, he is an inspiration to us all...Bo Dallas!" I love that entrance.
Dallas said he was there to ask us to join him in 60 seconds of silence for two superstars who are physically unable to compete these days: Bad News Barrett and Daniel Bryan. He kneed down at the top of the ramp. He actually waited for 60 seconds, which is ridiculous for something like this as Lawler complained about it while JBL said Bo was inspirational. Dallas said he was the voice of inspiration for Daniel Bryan.
A video aired of Daniel Bryan's interview from the Money in the Bank Kickoff Show when Bryan said he might need another neck surgery. It sucks. He was cut off by Bo Dallas. Bryan said he was acting like a "Bo-ner" and ended it by saying "Bo...leave."
When the video ended, Bo just said: "Don't stop bo-lieving."
Analysis: I was hoping for a match for him, but that's all we got. The video package is WWE's way of including Daniel Bryan on the show even though he's not there.
Nikki Bella vs. Naomi & Cameron
Cameron slammed Nikki down by her head. Nikki slammed Cameron's head into her knee and then yanked her off the ropes. Naomi tagged herself in, hit a kick on Nikki and then a cross body block off the top. Naomi finished her off with her reverse DDT move. It was over after two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Naomi & Cameron
Post match, Cameron got in Naomi's face. Apparently Cameron was mad that Naomi tagged herself win. The ref separated them as Cameron walked away.
Analysis: A very short match done to make things unfair for Nikki even though nobody cared about her after the match. Cameron's acting is bad. She can barely do anything in the ring, yet is really cocky. Naomi's a good athlete. Like I've said before she'll probably do better on her own.
There's a Bad News Barrett medical update up next.
Plug Time: This month on TJRWrestling Radio we have Ring of Honor World Champion Michael Elgin as our guest. He just won their World Title a couple of weeks ago, so we'll talk to him about that and learn more about him. We'll also talk about Money in the Bank as well as the current happenings in WWE. Join Matt Seagull, The Ace and myself for the big show starting at 10pmET/9pmCT. We'll go for 90 minutes like usual or maybe a bit longer. You can listen live right here or at your own convenience using that same link. It will also be up on iTunes by Wednesday morning too.
They showed a video from Smackdown with Jack Swagger tossing Bad News Barrett into the barricade twice, which caused Barrett to separate his shoulder. It was the second one that looked really bad. It looked as though Barrett didn't have enough time to take the bump the right way. Cole said Barrett would be out for months. It was announced that there would be a Battle Royal to determine the brand new Intercontinental Title.
Analysis: They should have had Stephanie McMahon or Triple H announce it because it didn't seem like a big deal to have Cole just announce it on camera like that. If you want the title to be prestigious you need to present it that way. Also, they did a Battle Royal match for the US Title when Sheamus won it a few months ago. It doesn't seem that fresh although perhaps it fits more at Battleground.
The great Paul Heyman showed up to say it was great that Barrett was hurt and needed surgery because his client Cesaro had to be considered the favorite for the Battle Royal at Battleground. His reasoning is that Cesaro won the Battle Royal at WrestleMania, so he's got the best shot at Battleground. If you're wondering, Heyman did mention Lesnar like usual.
Cesaro w/Paul Heyman vs. Kofi Kingston
Kingston hit a cross body block off the top rope and then he sent Cesaro outside the ring. Kingston hit a somersault dive over the top rope to take out Cesaro. That offense didn't last too long as Cesaro overpowered him. He set up for the Cesaro Swing, but he changed his mind to piss off the fans. Heyman laughed about it. Great heel move. Kingston hit a hurricanrana for a two count. Cesaro nailed Kingston with an uppercut shot to the back as the crowd chanted "CM Punk" and Kingston rolled to the floor for the third vintage floor to commercial break so far.
When we came back from the break, they said that Kingston won the match. The replay showed that it was a surprise rollup finish for Kingston. The match went about 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: ** It's rare for WWE to end a match during the break, which is basically their way of trying to tell people how important the WWE App is. I have the WWE App, but most weeks when I watch live (not this week) I usually forget to turn it on my phone or I just don't have interest. Sitting here writing for three hours is enough.
Post match, Cesaro attacked him with a huge forearm shot. Cesaro slammed Kingston over the announce table and then he sent him back. Cesaro press slammed Kingston over the barricade and into the crowd. Cesaro gave Kingston a hip toss over the barricade, then sent him into the ring post and slammed him chest first into the ring post about ten times. Cesaro nailed him with a huge clothesline outside the ring, which led to Kingston doing a flip bump. Refs showed up to break it up as doctors checked on Kingston.
Analysis: Winning and losing matches don't matter too much when you can get your heat back like that. It was a serious ass kicking by Cesaro. That's how WWE has to book him. If you're worried about Cesaro losing you shouldn't be. That post match attack is better than winning or losing a forgettable match. It shows that he's a badass heel. That's how he needs to be booked more often. Make him a threat.
Backstage, Santino was having a BBQ party with his cobra. Adam Rose showed up with Twisted Tea, which is probably a sponsor, and he showed up with the Exotic Express. I recognized Thea Trinidad (Rosita from TNA) in the group. Then they all sat together to drink some Twisted Tea.
Analysis: That was a blatant plug even more than the Mountain Dew at the PPV. Good to see Thea as part of the Rosebuds again. She's a gorgeous girl in her early 20s that can hopefully get signed by WWE if she isn't already. At least they kept the comedy guys together in a short segment.
Back from that commercial plug, Michael Cole said he was fine after Cesaro tossed Kingston into him. JBL: "Too bad." I laughed at that!
They showed a tweet from Hulk Hogan congratulating John Cena on becoming WWE Champion again. Cena's in a tag with Roman Reigns against Randy Orton & Kane later in the show.
The music of Vince McMahon started up, but instead it was Damien Sandow in a suit. He did the McMahon walk on the way to the ring. At first the crowd popped when the music started while the announcers thought it was really him, but then they started laughing at the sight of Sandow.
He said he was "Vincent Kennedy McMahondow" and said he made WWE a global juggernaut. He rattled off major names in WWE history like Hulk Hogan, Triple H, Steve Austin (biggest ovation) and then the most talented man...Damien Sandow. He was entering Sandow in the Battleground Battle Royal for the IC Title. If you've got a problem with that...you're fired. He did it in the McMahon voice.
Stephanie showed up on the screen from her office. She yelled at him for impersonating her dad and she put him in a match right now against a giant: The Great Khali. Cole: "Oh no!" My sentiments exactly.
Analysis: Sandow was pretty good in his McMahon impression. He looked like he was having fun doing it too, so that's what matters.
The Great Khali vs. Damien Sandow (aka Vincent Kennedy McMahondow)
Khali chop to the head. He covered for the win after about five seconds.
Winner by pinfall: The Great Khali
Analysis: Another terrible waste of Sandow. Who did he piss off? No idea.
Back to the limo, the door was opened and we'll find out who is returning to WWE after the break at the top of hour three.
The ring announcer Justin Roberts told us to welcome back a former WWE Champion and cross platform multi-media star. The Miz walked out. JBL said he was expecting somebody else. The reaction for him wasn't huge.
The Miz entered the ring with sunglasses on and a white suit looking like a movie star. Miz: "I'm baaaaaaack." He talked about how he was the former WWE Champion and platform multi-media star. He spoke about filming The Marine 4. Of course he didn't say that Summer Rae was also in the film and was brought back months ago, but that's okay. Miz bragged about how he could be Hollywood's biggest movie star. He told us that he was back because of the fans. Miz said that the WWE Universe doesn't see him as the A-List talent that he is. "A guy that main evented WrestleMania only to stop main eventing." That's a true story that he stopped main eventing and even not appearing on a lot of PPVs. Miz bragged about how he could do anything. He's not leaving WWE until he main events WrestleMania again. He's not going to leave until we're on our knees begging him not to go.
Cue the pyro. "Break the walls down!" Jericho! Yes! The man in the light up jacket posed at the top of the ramp. Now that's a huge ovation. Miz barely got a reaction, but the crowd went wild for Jericho. He's been gone from WWE for about a year.
Analysis: Jericho is one of my favorite wrestlers ever. That was a big pop. He's had bigger ones, but it was still really good. The Miz? He's not, but he's okay with me.
Jericho entered the ring as the crowd chanted "Y2J" for him. The Miz wasn't too happy about it. He wondered what Jericho was doing and mocked his stupid light-brite jacket. Jericho took off the jacket. Miz said he was an actor, a movie star, a box office draw and Jericho nailed him with a Codebreaker. The crowd popped big for that.
Analysis: I'm glad Miz is back in a heel role. He's more natural in that role. He was lost as a face. All that time away allowed him to come back as a heel, which will be better for his career.
Jericho grabbed the microphone and said it felt good. He said: "Welcome to..." and then he was cut off. Bray Wyatt's graphic appeared on the screen. Bray Wyatt was in the ring with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. They attacked Jericho. The Wyatt Family attack on Jericho was vicious as Rowan hit a corner splash and then Harper nailed a kick to the face. Wyatt finished off Jericho with the Sister Abigail. They posted over Jericho's fallen body.
Analysis: It looks like Jericho came back to WWE to feud with Wyatt. He's talked about how he enjoyed working with Bray once in the past on NXT, so it's no surprise that he wants to do it again. Jericho's a big name that Wyatt can feud with and we know Jericho has no problem putting over younger guys. The feud makes a lot of sense in that regard. Excellent return and segment. I'm excited about it.
There was a replay of Wyatt attacking Jericho from before the break.
Fandango was in the ring with Layla, who was victorious over Summer Rae at Money in the Bank.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango w/Layla
Fandango hit Ziggler with a forearm shot to the face and dropped Ziggler face first. Layla gave Fandango a kiss, which allowed Ziggler to come back with a kick and then a leaping clothesline. Neckbreaker by Ziggler followed by an elbow drop. Summer Rae walked right into the ring in a pink dress. She kissed Ziggler. The fans cheered. They stopped kissing. Fandango was mad about it. Then Ziggler kissed Summer back. Summer left the ring, Fandango was pissed about it and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the win. It went about three minutes.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Post match, Summer looked pretty happy about the kiss with Ziggler.
Analysis: * That was one of the most bizarre "run-ins" in WWE history as Summer kissed Ziggler in the middle of the match and then Ziggler capitalized for the win. You don't see that kind of finish all the time. Pairing Summer with Ziggler may not be a bad idea although I think she's more natural as a heel.
Main event still to come.
Plug Time: Go check out my archive at WhatCulture.com for daily posts including the things WWE wants you to forget about Lita, some of the things I've learned from writing on the internet, plus some thoughts on WWE's Backlash 1999 in a retro feature. That's the cool thing about writing there. I cover the current happenings in WWE and also things from the past too. I've been there for six months and just passed 15 million views. Thanks for the support!
They ran extended highlights of Vickie Guerrero getting fired again, which led to Stephanie McMahon going into the pool of mud. There's a Vickie Guerrero "Cougar Countdown" on WWE Network as they air a top 10 list of her memorable moments.
Goldust & Stardust vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback
It's a rematch from Money in the Bank because WWE loves rematches. Axel wrestled in a singlet on Sunday. It looked weird, so he's back to trunks. Suplex by Ryback on Goldust. Fallaway slam by Ryback. Goldust hit a Spinebuster and made the hot tag to Stardust while Axel also tagged in. Stardust was on fire with an elbow smash off the top and then a DDT. Springboard clothesline by Stardust on Ryback. He finished Ryback with a faceplant variation and it was good enough for the win after four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Goldust & Stardust
Analysis: *1/2 Give Cody Rhodes a lot of credit for really getting into the character so much that he has changed his moves up to make them unique to Stardust. This was basically the same thing as the PPV match except even shorter as they went only two minutes before the hot tag.
The Divas Champion Paige was shown headed to the ring.
Paige entered the ring with the Divas Title in her hands. She said she's a woman of few words, but she knows there were people out there that thought she didn't deserve to be a champion and that she should go back to NXT. She feels like in the past three months she proved that she deserves to be there and she is there to stay.
The music of AJ Lee started up and the former Divas Champion made her return after being gone for the last three months. Those pregnancy rumors were obviously not true. Lee looks like she's well tanned as she wore her wedding ring and the fans chanted "CM Punk" in honor of her husband.
Lee said that Paige was right because she proved everybody wrong. Lee knows the kind of person she became, but she shouldn't have rubbed it in everybody's face like she did. Lee said Paige gave her the slap that was needed. Lee thanked her and congratulated her. Paige wondered how stupid Lee thought she was. Paige said she wouldn't make the same mistake that Lee did. The crowd chanted "CM Punk" again as Paige paused. She probably shouldn't pause to let the crowd chant that. Talk over them. Paige said she didn't think anybody wants her to defend her championship. Fans chanted "yes" at that. Lee suggested they have a championship rematch right now. Fans chanted "yes" for that. Paige agreed to a Divas Title match reluctantly. A ref showed up to ring the bell.
Analysis: A true babyface accepts any challenge. That's a heel move by Paige.
Divas Title: Paige vs. AJ Lee
Paige hit a hard kick early on and some headbutts. Lee tried to fight back, but Paige knocked her down for a two count. Paige trash talked her. As soon she bent down, Lee gave her an inside cradle and that was enough for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall and New Divas Champion: AJ Lee
Analysis: * That was a shocker. It looks like Paige is going heel, which could be the best thing for her because it fits her physical style. The title change was a bit of a surprise because it would be better if the heel was holding the gold, but they could always switch it back soon. We haven't seen Lee as a babyface in a while, so it will feel fresh. Congrats to Mrs. CM Punk on her return. It was definitely a surprise although there were reports she was going to come back after her wedding, which was a few weeks ago.
Post match, Lee celebrated with the Divas Title. Paige was upset in the ring.
Analysis: It's rare to see the double turn in wrestling these days, but they were able to pull it off. The crowd is ready to cheer Lee while Paige showed heel tendencies and can now be more aggressive after losing the title. Lee is in great shape after three months off. They can have two or three PPV matches out of this story.
The main event is up next.
There's a Fourth of July US Title Challenge by Sheamus on Smackdown.
Triple H sat beside the announce table for the main event. The entrance order for the main event was Kane, Randy Orton, John Cena and Roman Reigns. They mentioned the 12 staples that Orton needed to close the gash on the top of his head from Money in the Bank.
Kane and Randy Orton vs. John Cena and Roman Reigns
Cena started with Orton. Reigns entered, Orton tagged out and Reigns sent Kane over the top to the floor. That's the fourth match of the night with a vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Roman Reigns was in control of the action until Kane cut him off outside the ring and Orton capitalized on that. The heels isolated Reigns in their corner as Orton stomped on his ribs to keep him from tagging in Cena. Reigns fought off a Chokeslam attempt by Kane and he dropped him with a Samoan Drop.
Cena received the hot tag and hit the usual offense on Orton including the spinning suplex and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Kane tagged in, so Cena hit those moves on him too. Orton came back in the ring to hit a RKO on Cena. Reigns threw Orton out of the ring. Reigns nailed Kane with a Superman Punch. Reigns went brawling up the ramp with Orton. Kane slammed Cena into the steel steps at ringside. Kane hit Cena in the head with the steel steps, so the ref called for the bell after 12 minutes.
Winners by Disqualification: John Cena & Roman Reigns
Analysis: ** It was a basic main event match with a predictable finish. I don't really mind it, though. They don't need to do a clean finish all the time. This kind of thing fits into the story of Kane wanting to hurt Cena. Don't do DQ's all the time, but it's fine once in a while.
Kane rolled Cena back into the ring. Triple H told Kane to "finish it" as Kane signaled for a Tombstone. He connected with the Tombstone in the center of the ring. Fans chanted "one more time" against the guy that is supposed to be a babyface, but that's how it is with Cena. The ref called for a doctor in the ring. Really? A doctor angle off a move that has been done hundreds of times in WWE? Triple H waved for something.
Seth Rollins entered the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase as well as a referee. Hunter told the ref to ring the bell, but Cena was still out. Normally for Money in the Bank a guy has to be able to stand or at least be ready to fight back. Dean Ambrose showed up to go after Rollins. Meanwhile, Cena rolled out of the ring. Ambrose brawled with Rollins through the crowd and they were gone.
Kane grabbed a chair as Hunter had the briefcase in his hand. Reigns ran back in to deliver a Spear to Kane. Reigns stared at Triple H.
There was a big staredown between Reigns and Triple H. Fan chanted "this is awesome" at them. Hunter told Reigns to leave, but Roman didn't go anywhere. Hunter ended up getting off the apron. He continued the staredown with Reigns as Raw came to a close.
Analysis: Strong ending! That was a hot ending although calling in a doctor after a move like the Tombstone was a bit silly for me. It was great seeing the tease of the briefcase, but Ambrose showed up just like he said he would. I fully expect Triple H to cost Reigns at Battleground to set up a match between those two or maybe just Reigns vs. Orton and then Triple H would face Reigns at Night of Champions the month after that. Either way they are clearly building to Reigns against Hunter soon.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho - Welcome back.
2. Bray Wyatt
3. Seth Rollins
9 out of 10
Last week: 7
2014 Average: 6.26
2014 High: 9 (April 7 & June 30)
2014 Low: 3.5 (June 2)
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 6.5, 6, 3.5, 4.5
It gets a 9 out of 10. That's tied with the night after WrestleMania for best Raw of the year.
While there wasn't a match of the year contender or anything like that, there were a lot of quality matches throughout the show. That's all I want. Four matches had commercial breaks in them. That means they were given time to tell a story.
It seemed like there were less backstage segments too. It was more about the in-ring action and the promos.
Speaking of the promos, I thought there were so many great ones like Ambrose talking to Rollins, Rusev/Swagger, Jericho/Miz and then Paige/AJ Lee too.
Great show this week. They need Raw to be that good on a more consistent basis to really get fans into it. It was definitely a step in the right direction with Battleground coming up in three weeks and SummerSlam in August.
That's all for me. I'll be at a WWE live event on Saturday in my hometown of London, Ontario. The main event is Reigns vs. Wyatt. It should be fun as I sit ringside. I'll probably write about it and post some pictures.
To my fellow Canadians have a great Canada Day on Tuesday and to my American friends out there I hope you have an awesome July 4 holiday on Friday too.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton - email@example.com