Monday Night Raw – July 7, 2014: On Whose Authority Do You Have A Great Show?

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 7, 2014
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

With less than two weeks before Battleground, things are actually looking up. The fourway shows some promise and Reigns’ reactions are getting stronger and stronger. He doesn’t have a chance of winning the title but it’s nice to see him getting into these spots and looking like a player rather than a flash in the pain. The main event tonight is Seth Rollins vs. John Cena and Bret Hart is scheduled to make an appearance. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Authority vs. Cena and the near cash-in from last week.

Here’s Roman Reigns to open the show as we’re told that the Authority is on vacation. He’s wondering why HHH put him in the fourway. Maybe HHH thinks Reigns can neutralize Cena, because he can. Maybe HHH thinks Kane can neutralize Reigns, even though he can’t. Maybe HHH thinks with all those things going on, Orton will win the title, even though he won’t. The fans chant Cena sucks and Reigns says Cena absolutely does suck when Roman Reigns is in the house.

Reigns says he’s the next WWE Champion but here’s Kane to interrupt. Before Kane can say anything, Reigns calls Kane the authority’s lapdog and the fight is on. Reigns knocks him off the apron and clotheslines Kane into the crowd where the brawl continues. They head over to the tech area before making it back into the ring. Kane gets the better of it for a bit until referees come out. Kane chokeslams a referee and some agents, including Finlay, I.R.S., Dean Malenko and Jamie Noble, come out for the save. Reigns shoves Noble and spears Finlay before nailing the Superman Punch to Kane. JBL thinks this is awesome.

Usos vs. Wyatt Family

Non-title. The Wyatts have new music. Luke hammers away on Jey to start but a superkick puts him on the floor. A double clothesline puts Rowan outside as well but there’s no big dive. Back in and Luke nails Jey with an uppercut to take over again and it’s off to Rowan for a neck crank. Harper comes in again and rips at Jey’s face before getting two off a splash.

We take a break and come back with Rowan getting two off something we didn’t see. It’s off to the double fist head crush for a bit before Rowan misses a splash in the corner. Jey avoids an elbow from Harper and makes the tag to Jimmy so house can be cleaned. Harper misses a clothesline and takes Whisper in the Wind but Rowan makes the save. Jey runs back inside and hits the big dive to take Erick down but Harper nails a superkick to Jimmy for two.

Harper’s dive is stopped by a right hand and Jey superkicks him for an even closer near fall. Jey goes up but gets crotched when Rowan is sent into the post. A sitout powerbomb gets two for Harper but Jimmy makes the save. The double superkick puts Luke on the floor, only to have Rowan break up a double dive. Back inside and Harper nails a discus lariat on Jey for the pin at 11:50.

Rating: B-. Another fast paced and entertaining match from these two which also saves a bit of the Usos’ face in a nice touch. You have to think the Wyatts get the titles at Battleground now and they’re certainly ready for them. With more time, these guys could have an excellent match.

Jimmy pleased his case that he was legal but the referee doesn’t seem to care.

The announcers hype up a free week of the WWE Network, focusing on how positive the reviews have been.

Orton tells Kane that he was about to come out and help but it just wasn’t bad enough yet. Kane implies he’s taking the title at Battleground. Rollins comes in and suggests that he’ll cash in on the winner at Battleground. He leaves and Orton says he’s starting to hate that kid. Kane: “Not as much as I’m starting to hate you.”

Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox

Both girls have an arm tied behind their back, as per the Authority’s decision. Nikki gets tied but Alicia can’t decide which arm should be tied. Instead she jumps Nikki as you would expect her to. Nikki is knocked to the floor but is able to get in a few kicks to slow Fox down. Fox goes outside and finds some Red Bulls to pour over Nikki and leaves. The bell never rang so no match. The match was introduced with the stipulation being per the Authority. Cole: “You have to wonder if the Authority is behind this.”

Back from a break with Rusev waiving the flag and Lana telling Canada to follow Putin.

Rusev vs. Rob Van Dam

That’s quite the upgrade in opponent. Rob fires off kicks to start but Rusev says bring it on. A slingshot DDT freaks Lana out but Rusev throws Rob off the top to break up the Five Star. He runs Van Dam over and sends him flying with a fallaway slam. We hit the chinlock as Zeb Colter pops up in an inset interview and officially challenges Rusev for Battleground.

Rusev begs Van Dam to hit him in the ribs before putting on a front facelock. A small package gets two for Rob and he gets a boot up in the corner. Rusev is staggered and there’s a top rope kick to the face. Rolling Thunder has to be aborted and Rusev nails the jumping superkick. The Accolade gets the clean submission at 4:38.

Rating: C-. Not a great match but it’s a very good upgrade for Rusev. It’s more proof that Swagger has no chance at Battleground, but the USA chant and Swagger coming in carrying the American flag will be a great visual. Rusev is getting better and that jumping superkick just looks awesome.

We look at the opening segment.

Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton

Ambrose still has a taped up shoulder. The fans are entirely behind Ambrose as he sends Orton to the floor to start. Back in and Ambrose cranks on the arm but Orton comes back and sends him into the buckle. Dean hammers away in the corner and we get an old school eye rake across the ropes. Dean’s running dropkick sets up a cross arm choke with Dean tying Orton’s arms around his own throat. Orton rolls away and pounds on Dean in the corner but Ambrose gets all ticked off. He hammers Orton to the floor and we take a break.

Back with Orton finally working on the bad arm before nailing a dropkick. We hit the armbar again but Dean fights up and nails a DDT to put both guys down. Dean hammers away and grabs a Figure Four (JBL: “Maybe this is out of respect for Bret Hart!”) but Orton makes the ropes. Some bad miscommunication leads to a blown spot as Dean goes up and jumps down but Orton has his back to him so Dean just lands there. In theory Orton was supposed to dropkick him out of the air as he dropkicks him down a second later and poses.

The rebound clothesline looks to set up Dirty Deeds but Orton gets free. They head outside with Orton being sent into the barricade. Dean throws five chairs into the ring but Orton sends him into the post. The Elevated DDT on the floor knocks Ambrose silly and the count begins. Dean dives back in at nine as all the chairs have been cleared out. Another Elevated DDT is countered and Ambrose grabs a rollup for two. The RKO is countered into a backslide for the same and Orton kicks Dean in theface to set up another rebound clothesline but Randy catches him with the RKO for the pin at 17:45.

Rating: B+. This was a really solid TV match and Ambrose looked like an equal out there. That’s been the story since the Shield’s split: they look like they belong in the main event and have given the main event scene such a breath of fresh air. Really good stuff here and I dug the whole thing.

Cena says the 40lb medallion he wears around his neck makes him the biggest target in the WWE. There’s a briefcase hanging over his head and he doesn’t have to lose at Battleground to lose. That’s business though and here’s Reigns for a staredown. Cena says those were strong words out there earlier and Reigns says they’re true.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler

These two fight a lot. The winner of this gets a shot at Sheamus for the US Title tomorrow on Main Event. Fandango is on commentary and announces his entry into the Battleground battle royal. Cole asks Fandango which girl he likes better but Fandango says he likes himself best. Ziggler gets a quick neckbreaker and elbow drop before clotheslining Del Rio to the floor. Dolph’s baseball slide misses and he gets caught in the ring skirt for an enziguri. Del Rio comes up holding his wrist but seems to be ok.

Back in and Dolph misses a dropkick but comes back with a cross body and right hands. He goes to the corner and hammers away but gets shoved down onto the buckle. A reverse suplexplex plants Ziggler for two. He avoids the low superkick and hits his running DDT for two of his own.

Dolph spins out of a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and nails a dropkick as Fandango declares himself the Fonz of the WWE. Cole: “Sit on it Fandango.” That line won’t make sense if you’ve never seen Happy Days. Del Rio misses the corner enziguri and gets caught by the Fameasser for two as Fandango gets on the announcers’ table to dance. The distraction allows the low superkick to hit for the pin on Ziggler at 4:40.

Rating: C. These two have fought a lot. Like, a whole lot. The match didn’t have time to go anywhere and was there to further Ziggler vs. Fandango. It’s not really much for Ziggler but a feud is better than random matches. It’s nice to see Del Rio being boring in the midcard instead of the main event anymore.

Fandango dances more post match.

Stardust talks to Goldust’s wig until Goldust comes up and says they need to be bizarre. We get a good line from Goldust: “Where we’re going we don’t need Rhodes.” It’s a more up to date reference than Happy Days at least.

Post break Fandango is in the back when Layla comes up and wants to know why he was out there. Was it because he was jealous of Ziggler kissing Summer last week? Layla doesn’t think she could handle Fandango still having feelings for Summer. Fandango assures her he doesn’t but sees Summer, looking great in a blue dress, staring at them and giving him a come get it look.

Jerry Lawler is in the ring and talks about how lucky he was to have such a great medical staff here in Montreal that saved him about two years ago. He brings out Bret Hart to a very respectful ovation. Bret says merci (French for thank you) and that if he could have one more match, it would be right here in Montreal. He talks about getting goosebumps like he used to get when he was WWE World Champion and when he had dreams…..and here’s Damien Sandow as Bret Hart.

Sandow goes right for the Screwjob references and says his (as Bret) biggest regret is from being a third world country like Canada. His other major regreat is never standing in the same ring as the greatest performer of all time, Damien Sandow. Damien says talking was never Bret’s strong suit andBret finally nails him with a right hand. Bret: “No. Punching was.” Nothing wrong with this.

Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow

Non-title. Sheamus hugs Bret before he leaves. This is joined in progress after a break with Sandow pulling Sheamus out to the floor. A chinlock doesn’t last long for Damien so he buries a knee into Sheamus’ ribs. We get the Five Moves of Doom from Sandow but Sheamus grabs the beard to escape the Sharpshooter. There are the fifteen forearms to the chest and the Brogue Kick gets the pin at 2:35.

Renee Young talks to Miz in the back but he cuts her off to read a fan letter. The letter praises Miz and says how sad the writer was that the rat faced tattooed rock star jumped Miz last week. Imagine what would have happened if something had happened to his face. Little Johnny Russo, the writer of the letter, has nothing to worry about. When it comes to Miz’s fist, Jericho is ready for his closeup.

We see a list of the shows airing on the Network. They’re really busting out the big guns here. Saturday has a Saturday Night’s Main Event marathon and Sunday has Wrestlemania XXX. Bret Hart will be on the Highlight Reel tomorrow night on Main Event, in addition to Sheamus defending the US Title against Del Rio.

Chris Jericho vs. The Miz

Miz stomps away to start but gets chopped, only to run away from a right hand. Jericho clotheslines him to the floor and nails the dropkick, sending Miz back to the floor. Back in and the bulldog looks to set up the Lionsault but Miz sends him outside. We hit the chinlock on Jericho but he fights up with some shoulder blocks and a top rope ax handle.

The Walls are countered and Miz kicks Jericho in the face for two. Miz’s running corner clothesline misses and he freaks out at almost hitting the buckle. An enziguri gets two for Jericho but Miz comes back with the short DDT. Miz puts on a pretty bad figure four but Jericho makes it to the ropes. A right hand to Miz’s face sets up the Walls and Miz taps at 5:55.

Rating: C-. This was fine and the Miz not wanting to get hit in the face was a nice touch. As usual though, Miz’s in ring performance brings down what looks to be a good character. He just isn’t all that great in the ring and never has been. The figure four hurts him and I see no reason why he switched. The Skull Crushing Finale got him to the main event of Wrestlemania so why change?

Post match we’ve got Bray on stage and Jericho surrounded by cell phone lights. Bray is waiting on Jericho to save the world, even though he can’t save himself. Last week Bray proved that actions speak louder than words. Bray will hold Jericho’s words against him and he will never, EVVVVVVVVVVVVVER forget. The people here used to be Jericholics but now they follow a new tune. Jericho asks if Bray would please shut up and says actions do speak louder than words. He comes up the ramp but the lights go out again and the Family is around Bray. Jericho wisely stops in his tracks and we go to a break.

Funkadactyls vs. Paige/AJ Lee

AJ’s music comes on but Paige wants to do her entrance instead of Justin Roberts. Naomi and Paige get things going but Cameron isn’t interested in tagging out. Instead she just stands on the apron looking bored as Paige takes Naomi into the corner and tags in AJ. A headscissors and spinwheel kick get two on Naomi. Paige is a very enthusiastic partner on the apron. Naomi reaches for a tag but Cameron is putting on lip gloss. Paige comes in and a double clothesline puts both girls down. Cameron tags herself in and walks into the Paige Turner for the pin at 2:26.

The Funkadactyls shove each other post match and get in a cat fight with Naomi beating the fire out of Cameron.

Cesaro and Heyman are in the ring and the fans now know Heyman’s lines. Cesaro takes the mic and says you can’t talk to these people in English because they’re French Canadians. They’re strange people because the French can’t stand them and the Canadians can’t either. Cesaro insults them in French but some music cuts him off.

Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro

Kofi is taped up but looks rather happy despite being beaten up last week. A dropkick sends Cesaro to the floor and Kofi nails a baseball slide. He sends Cesaro into the announcers’ table but his springboard is broken up. They head back to the floor with Cesaro hitting the gutwrench suplex onto the apron. Back in and Kofi’s spinning cross body is caught in mid air but he counters into a sunset flip. Cesaro powers out of that and hits a gorilla press gutbuster for two. Kofi comes back with a rollup out of nowhere for the pin at 1:53.

Cesaro beats up Kofi post match but Big E. makes the save.

Seth Rollins comes in to see Cena for a civilized conversation. Tonight is about proving who is the best. Cena is called the best WWE Champion ever and Rollins says who better to cash in on but the best. John says he knows what the Authority sees in him. All those days Rollins was with the Shield, Rollins was waiting for the chance to change. The briefcase guarantees that change is coming, but the only guarantee Seth has is that he’s facing a champion tonight.

Reigns vs. Rusev on Smackdown.

El Torito vs. Bo Dallas

This is the result of a challege from Torito. Bo is willing to fight from his knees so Torito slaps him in the face with his tail. He rolls to the floor to avoid Bo before slapping him in the face. Bo shoves Fernando into the steps and nails a charging Torito with a forearm. The Bodog (off the middle rope) gets the pin on the bull at 1:29.

Bo runs Torito over during his victory lap.

One last Network plug for the road, including a sneak preview of the Monday Night War special debuting right after Raw.

John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

Non-title. The fans are excited for this one. Seth grabs a headlock to start before kicking him in the ribs and nailing a running swinging neckbreaker for two. We take a break and come back with Cena powering out of an armbar into an electric chair for two. A nice DDT gets two for Rollins but Cena lifts him off the mat into a sitout powerbomb for two.

Cena goes up but enziguried down for two. The shoulder blocks have Rollins in trouble and the ProtoBomb lays him out. The Shuffle sets up the AA, but Rollins flips out. Instead it’s the STF but here’s Kane. The distraction lets Orton sneak in through the crowd for the beatdown. We’ll say it’s a DQ at 10:00.

Rating: C. Fine match but you knew there was going to be a screwy finish. You don’t want to have either guy take a clean loss here and there’s nothing wrong with ending things this way. They’re not going to do anything major before Summerslam so this was fine all things considered. Rollins continues to look good.

Reigns comes in for the save and lays out the villains but Rollins blasts both Reigns and Cena with the briefcase. He tries to cash in but Ambrose comes through the crowd and they fight up the ramp. Orton gets back in as Cena is getting to his feet, only to walk into an AA. Kane loads up a chokeslam but gets speared down by Reigns. The two superheroes stare each other down and raise each others’ hands to end the show.

Overall Rating: A-. This was one of the best Raws in a very long time. The matches were either good or short and the angle advancement worked very well. It was nice to have the Authority gone for a week to let the show run itself and the results were very nice. WWE is clearly trying right now and this show flew by as a result. I had a blast with this episode and the whole thing worked really well.

Results
Wyatt Family b. Usos – Discus lariat to Jey
Rusev b. Rob Van Dam – Accolade
Alberto Del Rio b. Dolph Ziggler – Low superkick
Sheamus b. Damien Sandow – Brogue Kick
Chris Jericho b. The Miz – Walls of Jericho
Paige/AJ Lee b. Funkadactyls – Paige Turner to Cameron
Kofi Kingston b. Cesaro – Rollup
Bo Dallas b. El Torito – Bodog
John Cena b. Seth Rollins via DQ when Kane and Randy Orton interfered

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Survivor Series at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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7 comments

  1. J says:

    I cannot tell if our standard is that low or what. This show got an A-? Yikes. I respect your write-ups but the standard of expectations regarding the WWE and wrestling is at an all-time low. The fans, being in Montreal, were almost subdued by terrible and boring storylines. They wanted to get loud, and couldn’t. Also we had some bad botches in each match that made the talent look like they had no clue what they were doing (Ambrose/Orton top rope/Usos off the rope run right into Wyatt).

    The show was bad, predictable, and a huge step down from last week. I thought last week’s show was significantly better. It had meaning.

    But nonetheless – I respect your opinion and that’s the beauty of wrestling. A lot of people will love it. A lot will hate it.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Predictable doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

    Also it’s always nice to see someone who disagrees with something I say but doesn’t call me an imbecile about it.

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

    I thought RAW was good overall this week,not quite as good as last week but still did its job. It was nice not having HHH & Steph there and just let things play out on their own.

  3. Cockadoodledoo says:

    i think the fact that Steph and HHH weren’t there made this show so much better. im sick of watching them every single week on raw and smackdown

  4. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? The fans are soooo gonna turn on Reigns if they keep booking him like this. He needs to see some adversity. It’s okay to book a guy strong out the gate but eventually he needs to look vulnerable. I mean look what that did to Sheamus.

    Why book Ambrose to lose clean in his first match as a singles guy? So stupid. And watch the WWE let Reigns beat Rusev clean which will kill the Rusev/Swagger feud which I’m actually enjoying. Daniel Bryan needs to come back ASAP and save this mess of a main event scene

    Jerichoholic94 Reply:

    I bet the authority will run in for the dq or cost him the match against Rusev. The main event is shaping up fine right now. Let Daniel heal properly

    Jordan Reply:

    I do agree with your comment about Reigns. He does need to face some adversity. He’s just wrecking everything right now and looks like Cena. People will be complaining about his superman punch and the spear within a year at this rate.