Monday Night Raw – July 14, 2014: The Intercontinental Title Show

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 14, 2014
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

We’re at the go home show for Battleground, and things are getting interesting around here. The big story continues to be the rise of Roman Reigns, even though it seems highly unlikely that he gets the belt on Sunday. Other than that the Authority is back tonight and likely not happy as is their custom. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Cena to get things going. The Champ is here and if you haven’t done so yet, go sign up for the WWE Network because the preview ends tonight at midnight. You should order now because next week, the Champ may not be here. Cena talks about the fatal fourway on Sunday and says he doesn’t have to get pinned to lose the title. This brings out Reigns to a very solid reception.

Cena thanks Reigns for what happened last week and thinks that they should join forces to take out the Authority tonight and then find out who the best man is on Sunday. Ambrose pops up on screen and says they need to be on the same page. Dean has a plan tonight and it’s called Operation Screw The Authority. Kane, Rollins and Orton beat him down but Dean of course keeps fighting. They destroy Dean but he asks if that’s all they’ve got. This only earns him a worse beating and we got to a break.

Sheamus vs. The Miz

Non-title. Sheamus says he won’t hit Miz in the face, but he’ll kick it off his shoulders. Before the match, Miz talks about winning the Intercontinental Title on Sunday and gives us a present: his face on the screen throughout the match. Sheamus runs him over to start before dropping Miz with an elbow to the jaw. They head outside with Miz whipping Sheamus into the barricade before a top rope ax handle gets two back inside. Sheamus nails the rolling fireman’s carry and we take a break.

Back with Miz putting Miz in a chinlock as we cut away to a graphic showing twenty two participants in the battle royal on Sunday. Sheamus fights up and hits his running ax handles but misses the knee lift. Instead he hits fifteen forearms to the chest followed by a powerslam for two. Sheamus goes up top but gets taken down by the leg, allowing Miz to hit a short DDT for two. The Skull Crushing Finale is countered but Miz avoids the Brogue Kick, allowing him to grab a rollup for the completely clean pin in a shocking upset at 10:50.

Rating: C-. Well the ending surprised me and I still maintain that Miz isn’t as bad as people think he is. I would prefer the champions to not get beaten clean in the middle of the ringA but at least it’s to another former World Champion and not to some no name. Sheamus losing isn’t going to kill him though.

Orton and Kane bicker about who wins the title on Sunday but HHH comes in and tells them to drop it because they’re partners tonight. They leave and Stephanie comes in and seems turned on by HHH’s authority.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango

Ziggler leapfrogs Fandango to start as Cole recaps the love triangle between Layla, Summer Rae and Fandango. The dancer whips Ziggler into the corner and takes over with an early chinlock. Back up and Ziggler hammers away but misses an elbow drop to put both guys down. It’s Fandango up first but here are the girls on the table for a distraction. Fandango of course can’t focus on a match while someone is twenty feet from him, allowing Dolph to dropkick him down. A Fameasser gets Dolph the pin at 2:58.

The girls dance with Ziggler post match.

Sonic seems to be a sponsor and we have a waitress delivering food in the back. Damien Sandow comes up in a Sonic uniform on skates (as is the case for Sonic employees). He’s about to have something to eat when Adam Rose and the Rosebuds come up and get in an argument over a hot dog. Sandow of course rolls off and crashes into something. Rose eats the foot and one of the Rosebuds steals something. Harmless commercial.

The Usos come out for a match but the Wyatts jump them from behind and leave the champions laying.

It’s time for a detente between Zeb Colter and Lana. Cole is hosting and talks about how this is designed to ease some of the tension. Lana tries to talk but gets cut off by a USA chant. She finally gets something out but it’s all in Russian. Lana compares Colter to the USA, saying they both see violence as the answer. America wants to save the world but they can’t even save themselves.

The crowd hating her gets on Lana’s nerves and she tells everyone to shut up. We get a history lesson about how the Americans won freedom and then fought each other like savages. Russia however, has always loved peace. Colter talks about being in a jungle in Vietnam and vowing to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. He calls Rusev Bullwinkle and talks about how arrogant Lana is being.

Lana praises Putin but Colter calls him ugly. We get a shot of Obama with Colter talking about how he’s elected every four to eight years, drawing a rather solid reaction for the President. Colter wants to talk to Rusev instead of Lana, asking Rusev if the challenge has been accepted for Battleground. Rusev says it’s war.

The Russians leave and Colter does a WE THE PEOPLE, making Lana very angry. She slaps Zeb but the guys go at it instead. Swagger easily takes Rusev down but Lana pulls him off. Rusev sends him into a podium and nails a corner splash but the jumping superkick is countered into the Patriot Lock. Rusev finally gets to the floor and the fans are WAY into this. Swagger hasn’t looked this good in years.

We look at Ambrose getting beaten down. Dean has been taken to a hospital and his return is unlikely.

Reigns is getting ready when Cena comes in. Cena tells him to get up, so Reigns says they take out all three of their opponents (Kane, Orton and Rollins) tonight.

Flo Rida performs next week.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam

Del Rio starts fast by sending RVD to the floor and tying him up in the ring skirt. Back in and Del Rio goes after the spine before putting on a chinlock with his knee planted between Rob’s shoulders. Van Dam fights up and hits some clotheslines followed by a quick hurricanrana. A superkick drops Del Rio and Rolling Thunder gets two. Del Rio gets kicked down but gets his knees up to block the Five Star. The armbreaker goes on and Rob immediately taps at 4:33.

Rating: C-. Not bad here and I can’t begin to tell you how glad I am that Del Rio is in the midcard. The guy is talented in the ring but he needs a lot more than what he has to be in the World Title hunt. The match didn’t have time to do much, but Van Dam needs to win something, even a small match, to keep up his credibility.

Ad for the CM Punk documentary airing tomorrow night on the Network.

Nikki Bella comes out for her match but Stephanie interrupts her. She talks about Brie not being here for the tag match so Nikki has to go it alone again. Stephanie says Nikki should blame Brie for being selfish.

Cameron/Alicia Fox vs. Nikki Bella

Alicia gets things going for her team but is quickly rolled up for two. Cameron gets the tag and is a little more serious tonight. She slams Nikki down and Cameron vs. Naomi is announced for the pre-show on Sunday. Nikki knocks Alicia off the apron and hits an Alabama SLam on Cameron with Fox making the save. Alicia hammers on Nikki but gets elbowed in the jaw. Cameron offers a distraction and Nikki gets slammed off the middle rope. Fox hits something like a Fameasser for the pin at 3:34.

Rating: D+. We get the idea and now it’s just waiting until Brie returns for the showdown that almost no one is going to care about. However, I have a bad feeling we might have to see the Bellas fight at some point. Or even worse, talk to each other. Thank goodness the Funkadactyls are going to fight on the pre-show instead of the full version.

Cole tells us about a special character in WWE 2K15. They threw it to a video where there was an orchestra playing Sting’s old music (from Starrcade 1997) with their backs to the cameras. They turned around to reveal they were all in Sting masks. Sting showed up and looked at the camera but didn’t say anything. He was NOT in the arena but the place erupted when they saw the masks. It appears that you’ll be getting both Surfer Sting and Crow Sting.

HHH tells Randy Orton to calm down.

Goldust and Stardust talk about the Yellow Brick Road and going to the place where all that glitters isn’t gold.

Cesaro vs. Big E.

Kofi is with Big E. but there’s no Heyman with Cesaro here and the announcers say he’s been fired. Big E. runs him over to start and they head outside, only to have Big E. get sent into the barricade. Back in and Cesaro escapes a gorilla press and nails a hard clothesline for two. A butterfly suplex drops Big E. but he fights out of a chinlock and hits some belly to belly suplexes of his own. The Warrior Splash connects and he takes down the straps but Cesaro goes outside. He throws a chair at Kofi and brings another into the ring, only to have Kofi take it away. The Big Ending gets the pin at 4:23.

Rating: D+. This felt more like an angle than a match with Cesaro being lost without Heyman there to show him what to do. These guys are all in the battle royal again, as that match continues to be the focus of the show. It’s not likely to last but it’s a nice change of pace for once.

We look back at the Wyatts beating up Jericho two weeks ago.

Here’s Jericho to talk about having been in the WWE for a long time. He lists off a lot of people and things he’s seen with a long series of comedy and serious characters. He’s done a lot of things including getting in a fight with Bob Barker (“I’ll still fight you anytime, anywhere”) and beating Austin and Rock in the same night. Yeah he’s seen it all, but then there’s Bray Wyatt.

Bray is unlike anything he’s ever seen before because Bray is crazy. Jericho can get crazy too though, and if that’s what Bray wants to do, he can do it at Battleground. The fans want to get crazy but here’s Bray on screen to respond. Bray talks about frail little minds getting struck by the hands of life and making them different. He wants to know where Chris was when we needed him. Chris was going to save us but we remember it all. Bray has done a lot of bad things and gone to war with powerful men but on his journies he’s noticed a constant: no matter how tough they are or what they’ve been through: they all scream.

We go back to the arena but Bray is still on the screen laughing. He blows out the lantersn and the lights in the arena go out. Something happens and the Family is in the ring around Jericho. Chris is cornered but goes after Harper, only to get double teamed. He ducks under a big boot and wisely runs to fight another day. Bray pops up behind him and lays Jericho out with Sister Abigail on the ramp.

We look at the opening segment again.

AJ Lee vs. Eva Marie

Paige is on commentary and this is non-title. AJ nails a spinwheel kick as Paige declares them frenemies. They head outside with Eva kicking her into the apron to take over. Back in and Eva cranks on the arms. That goes nowhere as AJ comes back with the Black Widow for the win at 2:28.

Post match AJ sits on the announcers’ desk in front of Paige and they compliment hair. And that’s that.

Kane comes in to yell at the Authority about not liking Randy Orton. HHH says it doesn’t matter who gets the title as long as it’s part of the Authority.

Bo Dallas is in the ring and talks about beating El Torito, the biggest little man in the WWE. He may be small, but he has a huge heart. Bo hopes his opponent tonight has as big a heart.

Great Khali vs. Bo Dallas

JBL: “Bo’s streak is like Lou Gehrig’s or Cal Ripken Jr.’s!” Cole: “But all of those ended.” JBL: “…..ok.” Khali chops away in the corner but no sells all of Dallas’. Bo gets sent out to the floor but actually hits a Bodog off the apron for the countout win at 1:48.

Post match Bo gives Khali a pep talk and gets chopped down with ease. Bo: “OW!”

Preview for the Best of Nitro, airing after Raw goes off the air.

The Authority tells Rollins they have a Plan B. Seth leaves and Heyman comes in, saying he’s been picking his spots and making his moves. He hopes their Plan B works, but if they need a can’t miss plan, he’s the man to talk to. The Authority isn’t sure what to think of what he says.

Here’s Ric Flair for a big guest spot. His suit looks great if nothing else. Flair immediately hits on Renee who looks to be having a great time and says Virginia is for lovers (state motto). After he getting done wooing, Renee asks him for his pick in the fourway at Battleground. Flair says there’s only one man that can strike like a viper and one man that can walk through hellfire and brimstone, but John Cena is walking out with the title. This brings out Reigns to shake Ric’s hand. Flair leaves and that’s it for him.

John Cena/Roman Reigns. vs. Randy Orton/Kane/Seth Rollins

Cena hands Flair the World Heavyweight Championship as they meet on the stage. During the entrances, Rollins vs. Ambrose is set for Sunday. Rollins and Cena get things going but it’s quickly off to Orton before much happens. A back elbow puts Randy down and it’s off to Kane. Cena is ready to go but Reigns tags himself in. The monsters go at it with Reigns getting the better of it but he stops to nail Rollins. The Authority takes over and we go to our last break.

Back with Reigns fighting out of a chinlock and nailing a running clothesline. Cena gets the hot tag and cleans house but a Kane distraction lets Rollins get in a shot to take over. Orton comes back in with the backbreaker before it’s back to Kane. Cena’s attempt at an AA literally falls flat with Kane crashing down onto his head. Rollins puts on a sleeper but Cena powers out of it and makes the tag to Roman. Reigns cleans house and sends Rollins to the floor where he comes up clutching his knee. Kane and Orton double team Reigns and it’s a DQ at 14:28.

Rating: C-. Just your basic main event match here but that knee issue with Rollins is a scary scene. Hopefully it’s either a story or he’s not too badly hurt. It would be a huge blow if he was seriously injured. The match was nothing great but it worked well enough to get the job done.

Orton and Kane beat up Cena but Kane accidentally knocks Randy to the floor. Reigns gets back up but spears Cena by mistake. Kane kicks Roman in the face and Randy lays Kane out with an RKO, only to get speared down to end the show. The camera never looked at Rollins after he went down.

Overall Rating: C+. This show had three stories to it. In a distant third was the Jericho vs. Bray match, which should be good as Bray can get a win on pay per view and look much more like a monster. The other major stories were a combination of the fourway/Rollins vs. Ambrose and the Intercontinental Title. The battle royal had four or five matches dedicated to it tonight and was made to look like a really big deal. It was a nice change of pace and I really hope the title gets more attention going forward. Overall I’m more excited for Battleground than I was coming into tonight and that’s a good thing.

Results
The Miz b. Sheamus – Rollup
Dolph Ziggler b. Fandango – Fameasser
Alberto Del Rio b. Rob Van Dam – Cross armbreaker
Big E. b. Cesaro – Big Ending
Paige b. Eva Marie – Black Widow
Bo Dallas b. Great Khali via countout
John Cena/Roman Reigns b. Seth Rollins/Kane/Randy Orton via DQ when Kane and Orton double teamed Cena

 

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KIK68OO

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

18 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    Two notes on Reigns: Why have him in back to back championship matches only to have him lose them both? And can we get him in some regular trunks already?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He’s in matches that he doesn’t win but doesn’t lose. You make him familiar to the fans in these spots and then there are roots for him when he wins.

    M.R. Reply:

    Not sure I buy that, even if he’s not the guy getting pinned he still loses.

    Thriller Reply:

    Being in a match alongside John Cena, Randy Orton, and (to a lesser extent) Kane and not getting pinned is way more valuable than squashing ADR or whoever. The only way someone not getting pinned in a 4 way match is thought of as a loser is if it is the champion losing their title.

    M.R. Reply:

    I disagree wholeheartedly.

  2. Awesome_Miz says:

    I’ve started noticing this for about a week or two, but the ‘E is doing a great job by keeping Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns far from each other in the ring at the same time. You can feel it that they are waiting for all their paths to eventually collide and be as BIG as possible.

  3. Mathix says:

    Hopefully Jericho can bring Bray back up. I don’t know if you agree KB, but even as a Cena supporter, I am not sure at all what that feud did for Bray long term.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I don’t really see it either. I still don’t get Cena winning at Wrestlemania.

  4. Heyo says:

    Is it OK that Battleground really excites me? For a B level show, that card is much more stacked than I ever thought possible for…well, a B level show.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve thought it looks good too.

    Heyo Reply:

    I think Rollins vs. Ambrose should have been saved for Summerslam, given that looks like a huge grudge match for a big PPV rather than being for a B show, but it still looks like it will be worth seeing.

    Jay H. (the real one) Reply:

    For a B PPV they’ve done a good job of stacking the Card and every Match has some juice to it. I hope Rollins is ok,that did not look good. I think they will stretch out a couple Matches on Sunday to Summerslam.

  5. Hubcap Dave says:

    I’m surprised Ric didn’t ask Renee if she wanted a ride on Space Mountain……

    I’m also surprised Ric and Roman didn’t have a few words…..

    I know some people here don’t like Sandow’s “Identity Crisis” gimmick. Personally, I’m a fan of it. That having been said, out of all the things they could have him do tonight (I’d have loved to see him come out as Sandy Rhodes when Flair was in the ring!), hawking Sonic with Adam Rose was the worst.

  6. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? They might as well call this show “Begging for People to Subscribe to the Network” They sound so pathetic. And Reigns is still gonna flop. He’s only good at the hot tag. He has 3 moves: the punch, spear and the kick on the apron. He can’t have a singles match more than 5 minutes and he’s not that good on the mic. And when he does talk, he talks so low you can barely hear him.

    This show to me was(as the fans were chanting during Bray’s promo) BORING! And I knew it would only be a matter of time before the fans chanted ‘boring’ during Bray’s nonsensical promo’s that never go anywhere. And LOL at so many getting excited for a possible Sting appearance and he only appears in a commercial LOLOLOL!

    Swagger/Rusev is good stuff but they should save it for Summerslam and the hottest angle in the WWE was Rollins vs Ambrose and now Rollins has injured his knee LMAOOOOOOOO!!!! What a joke

    Jerichoholic94 Reply:

    Dude if you’re gonna complain about every thing the program has to offer why watch it? I doubt Roman, Ambrose or Rollins will fail in the long run and you can’t control injuries. Bray’s promos on Jericho make more sense than the Cena ones btw. Jericho said he would always be there to “save us” just as Bray said. Cena was just being himself, minding his business. Bray has made it clear he believes he is the saviour of the entire universe.

    james gracie Reply:

    That’s a dumb question. Cause I’m a wrestling fan through the good and the bad. And I know this company is capable of putting on good shows. But they are more interested in promoting their Network. It’s not my fault they killed their PPV revenue and now I have to sit through a 3 hour advertisement for the WWE Network

    Rocko Reply:

    Are you opposite-Jay?

    ted Reply:

    Was an ok show. Sometimes I think they overdo it with the shilling.