Monday Night Raw – June 30, 2014: Taking Care of Business

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 30, 2014
Location: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

Things have changed after last night’s Money in the Bank show but it was pretty much what people expected. John Cena won the World Title while Seth Rollins became Mr. Money in the Bank. I can’t help but think Cena’s reign is just until we get to Summerslam where Brock can destroy him and take the title. Battleground is in three weeks so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the ladder matches last night.

Here’s the Authority to get things going. Stephanie says she was born in Hartford before going into a discussion of Daniel Bryan’s announcement last night. However, the Authority is about the future going forward, much like Seth Rollins who became Mr. Money in the Bank. HHH talks about John Cena winning the ladder match and proving that he’s an A+ player.

Cena comes out to the usual reaction with the titles wrapped around his neck like an untied scarf. Stephanie gets cut off so John can say the Authority won’t give Bryan a title shot but Cena would love to. That starts up a huge YES chant but Stephanie has a different question. She asks how many people here are gamers. The reason she asks is because Cena is going to be on the cover of the WWE 2K15 video game. The banner unfolds and Stephanie dances to Cena’s music in a cute bit.

Cena says that’s very nice but hang on a minute. The Authority are being way too nice to him because he saw them right after he won those titles. He shows us a shot of them looking crushed after the match ended but Stephanie says it was because of Randy Orton’s injuries. Cena says that’s because they have Orton in their pocket, just like Seth Rollins.

HHH tries to talk like a Dr. of Thuganomics (seriously) before saying all this can go away really fast if Cena doesn’t do it with respect. Cena would rather do it the hard way if it means doing it by himself. HHH says he’d have it no other way, which is why Cena is defending the title in a fourway at Battleground.

After Stephanie explains the rules, HHH announces Kane, Orton and Roman Reigns. Just for fun, tonight let’s have Cena/Reigns vs. Kane/Orton. Cena says he’ll earn the titles again at Battleground and brings up Stephanie being thrown in the pool of whatever that was last week. Cena goes to leave but HHH says that if Cena survives the fourway, there’s always a plan B. Rollins comes out next to Cena, briefcase in hand.

Seth Rollins vs. Rob Van Dam

Van Dam quickly sends Seth outside before a big kick to the head staggers Rollins again. Rob fires off some shoulders to the back before putting on an old school abdominal stretch. He switches it up to a freaky looking double leg lock but Rollins makes the ropes and heads outside as we go to a break. Back with Van Dam hammering away but getting tripped into a half crab.

Rob injured his leg last night so there’s actually additional some psychology to this. Ropes are quickly grabbed and Van Dam comes back with clotheslines and a kick to the face, setting up Rolling Thunder for two. The split legged moonsault to Rollins’ back gets two but he grabs a legdrag to take over again. Rollins loads up the buckle bomb but Rob counters into a hurricanrana into the corner. The Five Star is ready but Rollins rolls to the floor, only to get taken down by a big dive from the top. As they come back in, Rollins twists the knee again to set up the curb stomp for the pin at 11:45.

Rating: B-. This worked really well and was one of Van Dam’s best matches in a very long time. He was actually doing stuff other than just the regular moveset so the match worked much better than usual. Rollins getting a win over a former World Champion is always a good thing and the match was a solid effort.

Post match Rollins says the briefcase proves him right over Ambrose because this is his golden ticket. Ambrose pops up on screen and says from one scumbag to another that this isn’t over. Plan A failed miserable last night when Rollins’ daddy had to send Uncle Kane out to save him. It might be more fun this way because Ambrose is going to be right there every time Rollins tries to cash in. That briefcase doesn’t have a contract inside because it’s full of TNT. Every time Rollins tries to case in, it’s going to blow up in his face.

Here are Rusev and Lana with something to say. Lana wants the USA chants to stop and talks about how there is only one superpower. She asks who will be the next American to try to stop him and Rusev speaks some Russian. The answer is the one that should have been here months ago: Jack Swagger.

Colter goes on a great rant about how Boris and Natasha can say this in America because they’re taking advantage of the Freedom of Speech. Lana said that nothing can stop the Rusev Crush but Colter thinks a Real American could do it. WE THE PEOPLE gets the loudest reaction of Swagger’s career and the boys are ready to go but Lana stops him. A LET’S GO SWAGGER chant starts and Rusev tries to get in a cheap shot. Swagger comes back with some armdrags of all things and the Russians bail.

Sheamus/Usos vs. Wyatt Family

Jey and Rowan get things going and a clothesline sends Jey to the floor and use to a very quick break. Back with Rowan cranking on Jimmy’s neck before Bray hits his running splash in the corner. Jimmy finally comes back with a Whisper in the Wind to Harper, allowing for the hot tag to Sheamus. Rowan gets sent to the apron for the ten forearms to the chest until Harper makes a save. Sheamus dives off the top to take the Family down before powerslamming Erick in the ring.

Wyatt offers a distraction though and Rowan sends Sheamus to the floor. Harper kicks Sheamus’ head off and the Wyatts take over. Rowan gets two off a splash and puts on the double fist head squeeze. It’s back to Bray who runs into a boot but knocks Sheamus out to the floor. A JBL chant starts up because the fans are bored I guess. Back in and Harper superkicks Sheamus down for two as the announcers ignore the crowd for a change.

Sheamus finally grabs the Irish Curse on Harper and makes the tag off to Jey as house is cleaned. A big dive takes Harper out and a pair of kicks to the face get two. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Rowan down and Jey hits a dive to take him out. Bray plants Sheamus with a release Rock Bottom and avoids a superkick from Jimmy, allowing Harper to hit the discus lariat for the pin at 13:07.

Rating: C+. Good but not great match here as the Wyatts will get another shot at the titles in theory. Harper continues to blow my mind every time he’s out there, but Bray makes me sad. The guy’s incredible push in the spring has been totally wasted and he hasn’t won anything of note in months. He isn’t being depushed but he just needs to do SOMETHING.

Stephanie interrupts Nikki Bella in the back and puts the Bellas in a tag match against the Funkadactyls. Since Brie is gone though, it just has to be a handicap match.

Here’s Bo Dallas who asks for sixty seconds of silence for Bad News Barrett and Daniel Bryan who can’t compete at the moment. He actually kneels for about sixty seconds before showing us a clip of him interacting with Bryan on last night’s pre-show. We go into the next match with Bo still on the stage.

Nikki Bella vs. Funkadactyls

Cameron gets things going as the announcers try to get bomb.com over as a catchphrase. Nikki fights off Cameron to start because even Nikki is better than she is. Naomi comes in with a huge high cross body and the reverse DDT for the pin at 1:35.

The Funkadactyls are about to fight post match.

We look at Barrett’s shoulder being injured, which will put him out for several months. The Intercontinental Title is now vacant and will be decided in a battle royal at Battleground. This brings out Paul Heyman for his usual talking points and to introduce Cesaro as the first entrant in the battle royal.

Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston

Cesaro now has a black robe. Kofi is in the battle royal as well and comes out with a bad limp. Cesaro slams Kingston down with ease but gets sent to the floor for a BIG flip dive. Back in and a springboard gets caught in a Cesaro backbreaker. We hit the chinlock on Kofi before Cesaro hammers away, only to get rolled up for two as we take a break. Back….and the match ended during the break? Apparently that’s the case so we’ll say it ended at about 7:30.

Rating: D+. I don’t remember this happening in about the last ten years or so but it opens up a few more possibilities. I guess they’re pushing the App and to be fair this was a meaningless match so I don’t mind that I didn’t see how the fall took place. Kofi winning is a surprise, even though I have no idea how he won.

Cesaro DESTROYS Kofi with a hard throw into the crowd, Swiss Death, a throw over the table that wipes Cole out, and about 15 postings in a row. A replay shows that Kofi won with a rollup out of an electric chair.

Santino is having a party but no one showed up. Adam Rose and his Party shows up with a case of Twisted Tea, which I guess is a sponsor.

Damien Sandow comes out as Vince McMahon and does one heck of an impression. He hits all of the catchphrases and has the voice down perfectly. Sandow is in the Intercontinental Title battle royal but Stephanie interrupts and freaks out on Damien. He gets to face a giant also in the battle royal right now.

Great Khali vs. Damien Sandow

Chop, pin, four seconds.

It’s time for the return of a former WWE Champion and it’s….the Miz. He brags about being in Marine 4 and says he’s back to prove everyone wrong. People have called him a fluke but he’s here to show them that he isn’t a fluke. Miz isn’t leaving until he main events Wrestlemania again and people are begging him not to go. He’s finally cut off by the returning Chris Jericho in the real surprise. Miz rants about being the Marine and a huge star but gets taken down by a Codebreaker. Jericho says that felt great but we’ve got Wyatts. A triple team beatdown sets up Sister Abigail to leave Jericho laying.

Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler tries to start fast but gets sent into the corner and dropped face first onto the mat for two. Fandango gets a kiss from Layla but Dolph hammers away with right hands. Summer, looking great in a pink dress, comes to the ring and kisses Ziggler who does the same right back. Fandango isn’t sure what to do so it’s the Zig Zag for the pin at 2:36.

Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Stardust/Goldust

Goldust hammers on Axel to start but Ryback gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over. We hit the chinlock on Goldust for a bit before he counters the Meat Hook with a spinebuster. The hot tag brings in Stardust who cleans with clotheslines all around plus a springboard dropkick. A downward spiral is enough for the pin on Axel at 3:00.

Rating: D+. Nothing to see here again as Goldust and Stardust are already getting dull. I do like Cody getting a new finisher but it would have been nice if it was something a bit less generic. Ryback and Axel have lost every bit of their momentum from winning all of those matches against Goldust and whoever he had as a partner.

Here’s Paige with something to say. People have been telling her that she needs to go back down to NXT because she isn’t ready to be a champion but she has proven everyone wrong. This brings out the returning AJ Lee who says she wants to prove that she can get the title back. She congratulates Paige on being champion but Paige won’t shake her hand due to it being exactly what Paige did in her debut. The Title is on the line right now.

Divas Title: AJ Lee vs. Paige

Paige takes her into the corner to start and poses a bit. She shouts that this is her house now but gets small packaged out of nowhere to give AJ the title back at 1:00.

John Cena/Roman Reigns vs. Kane/Randy Orton

Cena and Orton get things going and the fans are already on John. Feeling out process to start with Cena getting the better of it. Reigns comes in and Orton bails to the corner for the power showdown. Kane is sent to the floor and we take our last break. Back with Reigns in trouble and Orton cranking on a chinlock. Kane gets in a few shots but Reigns nails a clothesline to start a comeback.

It only lasts a few seconds though as Orton sends him to the floor for a clothesline from Kane. Back in and Kane puts on a chinlock but Reigns powers up. They slug it out and a Samoan drop is enough to put Kane down, allowing Reigns to make the hot tag. House is cleaned and Kane takes the ProtoBomb but Orton nails Cena with an RKO. Reigns Superman Punches Kane down though, leaving Orton and Reigns to fight up the ramp. Kane sends Cena to the floor and nails him with the steps for the DQ at 11:57.

Rating: C-. This was pretty dull stuff and was only there to build towards the fourway. Kane isn’t going to win the title and everyone knows it but at least he’s getting a nice push instead of looking like everyone else. It was just a standard main event tag match and not a very good one at that.

Post match Kane tombstones Cena and knocks him out, drawing out Rollins for a cash in. HHH says ring the bell but Ambrose hits the ring to attack Rollins before the bell. Ambrose chases Rollins into the crowd and HHH is livid. Kane gets a chair to go after Cena but Reigns comes back and spears him down. Roman and HHH stare each other down and the fans are into it to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The wrestling wasn’t the best in the world here but a lot of stuff was happening on this show. We had three returns, a new champion, a title vacated, and the start of a nice new feud for someone that needs it. This show took care of a lot of things they’ve needed to get around to and it worked really well as a boost. Battleground feels like a throwaway show but they seem to actually be putting some effort into it on the way. That’s a rare thing but it’s very welcome. Not a great show but it got some stuff done.

Results
Seth Rollins b. Rob Van Dam – Curb stomp
Wyatt Family b. Usos/Sheamus – Discus lariat to Jimmy Uso
Funkadactyls b. Nikki Bella – Reverse DDT
Kofi Kingston b. Cesaro – Rollup
Great Khali b. Damien Sandow – Chop
Dolph Ziggler b. Fandango – Zig Zag
Stardust/Goldust b. Ryback/Curtis Axel – Downward spiral to Axel
John Cena/Roman Reigns b. Kane/Randy Orton via DQ when Kane used the steps

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10 comments

  1. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    A very fun RAW tonight. I was so glad to see Y2J and my girl AJ come back tonight which gives the Roster a much needed shot in the arm. The Miz being Heel again is a good move,he’s a natural at it. Swagger & Zeb turning Face was cool and I wonder if Dolph & Summer Rae are getting together to give DZ something again. Also loved the ending with Cena/Rollins/Ambrose/HHH/Reigns.

  2. Hubcap Dave says:

    I really enjoyed this show. Lots of good stuff going on. I’d bump it to a B+

    P.S.: LOVED Sandow’s McMahon impression!

  3. ted says:

    Ambrose showed some real fire and energy tonight. He’s really been feeling it as of late. I await m.r. to tell I have to like Reigns the most for a stupid reason.

    Also The return of our Paragon of virtue the highlight of the night Chris Jericho. In my mind a true legend in every sense of the word. He’s consistently over, entertaining, and willing to put over the young guys. A+

  4. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that show? So Triple H did all he could to prevent Reigns from being in the MITB match and now he just puts him in the 4 way?

    Nice to see Jericho come back to clog up the main event scene.

    And these crowds need to scale back the ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ chants. They do it all the time and it’s lost it’s luster just like the ‘YOU STILL GOT IT’ chant did.

    Awful show tonight

    james gracie Reply:

    Let me also add that Roman Reigns is gonna bomb as a singles top guy. He can’t talk, can’t work big matches. His best moments come in these short bursts in multi tag matches. But he’ll get 1000 chances to try cause he is Vince and H’s pet project

    Stormy Reply:

    Reigns being added makes sense as it’s Best for Business. With a 4 way match the Authority has more control as to the outcome to prevent Reigns from winning then they did in an 8 man ladder match. With Kane protecting Orton (as we saw at MitB) it’s in effect a 2 on 1 on 1. Plus HHH knows Orton doesn’t have to pin Cena to win the title he can “just” pin reigns.

    ted Reply:

    It’s a risk not best for business. There is no guarantee it will work. Also are people really starting this best fur business and economy side of wrestling nonsense as reasoning for things now?

    ted Reply:

    “for”

    Rocko Reply:

    I guess you could say it is so they can keep an eye on him or cash in if Reigns or Cena win but then that wouldn’t explain Ambrose not being in it. Really it seems like they were in a corner with needing Reigns to do something with Kane and Orton in the match since they couldn’t do Cena vs Orton again. Still doesn’t make kayfabe sense though.