Monday Night Raw – June 22, 2015: That’s An Interesting Idea

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 22, 2015
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

Things have started changing again in WWE with Brock Lesnar returning last week to go establish himself as the new challenger for Seth Rollins and the World Title. Other than that we still have Sheamus waiting in the rings for the title shot, which could be the case for a long time to come. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with the Beast himself and Heyman gives us a recap of what got Lesnar suspended back in the spring. This includes Rollins running from a title rematch and of course shows us Stephanie ripping off Brock’s balls because Heaven forbid we forget that. In order for Lesnar to officially return, he has to apologize to Cole and JBL. Lesnar of course doesn’t seem interested in doing so but eventually shakes JBL’s hand and rubs Cole head before shoving him into his chair.

Heyman would also like to issue an apology in advance to the chosen boy Seth Rollins. Seth was the first NXT Champion (“Gee I wonder how that happened.”) and has since been heavily protected. Now we have what’s beast for business (yes beast) because Rollins has a first class ticket to Suplex City. Brock is the once and future champion and he’s taking his title back at Battleground. This felt like the face turn promo, but it wasn’t really a turn as he left as a face.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

As this feud continues. Kane grabs a suplex to start and punches Ambrose in the face, followed by stomping him around the ring. Kane certainly doesn’t subscribe to the concept of mixing it up. A cross body puts Kane down and Dean follows him to the floor, only to be throw right back in. Kane sidesteps a dive and throws him into the steps as we take a break.

Back with Kane putting on a chinlock followed by a running DDT for two. Ambrose finally grabs a neckbreaker but has to stop for a nap after Kane has put everyone to sleep. Kane charges into the buckle and gets low bridged to the floor. That goes nowhere so Dean hits the rebound clothesline for two but here’s Rollins for the distraction, allowing Kane to load up the chokeslam, only to have Dean escape and hit a suicide dive. Dean goes up top and gets chokeslammed back down for the pin at 11:21.

Rating: D. So Rollins is trying to get recruits onto his side before he has to fight Lesnar and we have to sit through a boring ten minute Kane match to get the point across. Kane is just so slow and repetitive that it’s hard to stay focused during the match, let alone be entertained. Also, you couldn’t have this be a countout instead of Ambrose being pinned again?

Stills of Cena vs. Owens II.

Post break Kane sees through Seth’s plan and turns it down.

Recap of Wyatt vs. Reigns.

Prime Time Players vs. Ascension

Non-title. Titus throws Konnor around to start but everything breaks down. Viktor is tossed outside as New Day is shown watching in the back. The double teaming begins in the corner as Titus is in trouble. Konnor puts on a lame chinlock and gets suplexed down for his sloppiness. Darren gets the tag and cleans house with a northern lights suplex getting two. Titus and Konnor head outside, allowing Young to hit the Gutcheck for the pin on Viktor at 4:10.

Rating: D+. This still wasn’t anything worth seeing but it’s cool to see the champions getting a win instead of just losing every few weeks and then acting like we should still be impressed because they have the belts. The match was just there, but it’s nice to see the old formula instead of the same stuff they do all the time. Also, points to Young for really starting to become a more entertaining guy in the ring. He’s still not all that interesting but at least he’s a few steps ahead of where he used to be.

Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns

Sheamus pinned Reigns on Smackdown after Wyatt interfered. They drive each other up against the ropes to start because they’re both hosses. A slam sends Sheamus outside and Reigns slugs away back inside, only to get caught with four forearms to the chest. Sheamus throws Reigns down again and we take a break. Hopefully the break gives them some rest as this show’s action has felt like it’s in slow motion so far. Back with Reigns fighting out of a chinlock and hitting a running clothesline to wake the fans up a bit.

The apron boot is countered with a clothesline in a unique spot from Sheamus. He throws Reigns back first into the barricade and now Sheamus has a target. After a quick chinlock, three straight Irish Curses are good for a near fall. The Cloverleaf goes on but Reigns is quickly in the ropes. A belly to back stuns Sheamus and Reigns throws him to the floor for a whip into the table. Reigns gets back in but Wyatt pops up on screen in the middle of a tea party. He talks to someone off camera and tells Reigns to come find him. Roman bails on the match and that’s a countout at 16:40.

Rating: C+. This got going more with the back stuff at the end to give the match a story. I like that they’re giving Sheamus some wins, which really aren’t a stretch. Yeah he’s not what he used to be, but he’s still a former multiple time World Champion and a good brawler who can step up without a big stretch. Reigns is handling himself well in these longer matches too.

The camera pans back to show that Wyatt is talking to an empty rocking chair, meaning someone might have just gotten out of it.

Post break Reigns is looking for the party and finds the room, with a high group of pictures of Reigns on the wall with the eyes cut out and ANYONE BUT YOU painted on the wall. Bray can be head singing I’m A Little Teapot.

Rollins can’t get the Stooges on his side. They remember those Dumb and Dumber comments of his.

Kofi Kingston vs. Neville

Kingston jumps over Neville a few times to start but gets pulled into a headlock to slow things down. A shot to Neville’s ribs sets up a top rope ax handle as Xavier steals a camera for some pictures. Kofi is sent to the floor and knocked off the apron, drawing New Day over to go after Neville. This brings out the Prime Time Players to even things up but all four are ejected, allowing Neville to kick him in the head and hit the Red Arrow for the pin at 4:30.

Rating: C. Neville is now getting his own showcase matches as this was just about giving Neville a TV win instead of much anything else. He’s a full on midcard guy now and it’s amazing to see how smoothly his transition has gone. Kofi will be fine because he’s Kofi Kingston and is incapable of falling from his spot on the card.

King Barrett vs. Zack Ryder

Cole says that R-Truth has been thinking he’s King since beating Barrett last week. It would actually be the night before but be glad he got it that close. Ryder starts with a flapjack and corner clothesline before quickly fighting out of a chinlock. Barrett runs away from a Broski Boot but gets taken down by a baseball slide. Back inside and Ryder gets crotched on the top, setting up the Bull Hammer for the pin at 3:21.

Rating: D+. So we officially know that Ryder is beneath Barrett on the totem pole. I know it should seem obvious, but when you’re losing back to back matches to R-Truth, how clear is it? I’m all for seeing Ryder on TV more often as he’s still a fun character who can fire up the crowd, even though he loses every time he’s out there.

Owens says he was born to be in a WWE ring and wants to hurt Cena.

Here’s Cena for the first time after his attack by Owens at Money in the Bank. He holds up the title and calls it a symbol of excellence of which he is very proud. Cena recaps their feud and talks about Owens attacking him at Money in the Bank and then laying out a defenseless musician last week. Now Owens wants a US Title shot at Battleground and Cena has a choice. He could run like Owens did, or he can fight like a champion will. The answer seems to be a yes but here’s Owens to interrupt.

Kevin has been called a lot of things over the years, ranging from overweight to out of shape, but he’s someone who gets what he wants. He wanted to beat John Cena and he did, and he wanted the NXT Title and he got it. Now Owens wants the US Title and he’s going to get it, assuming Cena agrees to the title match. Owens calls himself an evil foreigner and speaks French, but Cena says the people are indifferent to Owens (no they’re not) and speaks French and Chinese. The match is on and the champ is here.

Rollins goes to the Authority to try to get some backup but HHH tells him to find it himself. Stephanie suggests getting the band back together, but HHH thinks it might cost him the title. Seth is perplexed.

Bella Twins vs. Naomi/Tamina

The Bellas have Alicia Fox in their corner. Brie takes Naomi into the corner to start so it’s quickly off to Tamina to work over Brie early on. Naomi knocks Nikki off the corner to break up a tag attempt but Brie gets over for the hot tag, meaning the Bellas are clearly wrestling as the faces here, because WWE has no idea how to book the Bellas these days. Brie hits a middle rope dropkick to Tamina, only to walk into the Rear View. The second Rear View hits Tamina by mistake, setting up the Rack Attack for the pin on Naomi at 3:44.

Terminator Genisys clip with Roman Reigns spliced in.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry

Non-title and Big Show is on commentary. Ryback throws him down to start and takes it outside right in front of Show. Henry tosses Ryback into the barricade, much to Show’s approval. Back from a break with Ryback shrugging off a chinlock and hitting the Meat Hook, followed by a top rope splash for the pin at 6:24. Not enough shown to rate but this was another match designed to set up the big match down the line. The splash looked good too.

Show glares at Henry post match.

Tough Enough preview.

Ryback is ready for anyone in the triple threat match but the title means everything to him. His parents hadn’t spoken in 15 years but his title win brought them together, even for one night. It doesn’t matter if the entire world comes after his title, because he’ll just say feed me more. Big Show comes in and mocks Ryback’s speech but Ryback is ready to fight. Ryback actually leaves him laying, shouting that Show isn’t so big now. That was a good speech by Ryback and the details he adds are a good way to make the fans connect with him.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Adam Rose

Lana is such an afterthought since she joined Ziggler. Before the match, Rose rips on the crowd and says we don’t get real art, or true love like he and Rosa have. Adam takes his time kissing Rosa and gets dropkicked in the face as Rusev is watching in the back. The referee tells Ziggler to get off Rose in the corner, allowing Adam to take him down and drop some elbows. A sleeper goes nowhere and Ziggler drops his own elbow for two. Rose goes up top and dives into a superkick for the pin at 3:05.

Rating: D. Well the match was nothing so I want to talk about Lana some more. Remember like two months ago when she was getting some of the loudest pops of the show? Well now she’s just there and does nothing during the match because we’re destined to get the same thing from Ziggler until the end of time. Rose is good in a role like this though.

Ziggler takes Lana’s hair out of the bun and kisses her, freaking Rusev out again. He throws his crutches and falls down because of the bad ankle. Summer Rae of all people comes up and hands him a crutch.

The Authority has a meeting in the back with Noble saying he and Mercury are wise like Yoda. HHH says the Stooges know Rollins better than anyone and Stephanie wants the two of them and Kane to hear Rollins out.

Here’s Seth to try to get his backup back. He calls out Kane and the Stooges, but insists that this has nothing to do with Brock Lesnar. This is about the three of them and family. Rollins apologizes to all three of them and asks him to be part of his family again. Kane gets a special apology because he isn’t a dinosaur (Seth: “They’re extinct and you’re alive and well.”) and is Seth’s favorite WWE Superstar of all time.

They don’t seem to accept so Seth gets close to begging until Lesnar interrupts. Kane loads up the elbow pad and Lesnar jumps to the apron, but the three of them leave Seth all alone. Kane and the Stooges try to go after Lesnar but they’re easily fought off because they’re Kane and the Stooges (I knew they should have gone with Iggy), leaving Brock to bust out the Germans to a huge face reaction.

Kane breaks up the F5 with a chokeslam but it’s time for the Big Bald to take a German of his own. This time it’s a Kane chop block breaking up another F5 to Rollins, who adds a chop block of his own. They bend the knee around the post and crack it with a chair to finally have Brock in some trouble. Brock tries to fight back but Mercury comes in to leg dive him, allowing Kane to put him back down. The springboard knee to the head sets up another chokeslam, followed by a Pedigree to leave Lesnar laying as the show ends.

Overall Rating: C. I really liked the way this show was laid out for the most part. A lot of the matches were bigger names getting wins over lower level acts, which doesn’t hurt anyone involved and lets you advance stories a few more steps without blowing something big or making anyone look weak. Ascension, Ryder and Rose losing does nothing to hurt them but the people that beat them get to look successful. That’s smart, logical booking.

The rest of the show was……well it was there. It wasn’t bad or anything but this felt like a very long three hours. There are a lot of issues in WWE and to be fair to them, you can tell when they’re trying and just run out of ideas/get bogged down by the time. That’s what happened here as they really didn’t have three hours of meaningful television in them and the show would have been much better at two hours. There was enough good to carry this show though and that’s a big improvement over some of the stuff we’ve been getting in recent weeks.

Results

Kane b. Dean Ambrose – Chokeslam from the top rope

Prime Time Players b. Ascension – Gutcheck to Viktor

Sheamus b. Roman Reigns via countout

Neville b. Kofi Kingston – Red Arrow

King Barrett b. Zack Ryder – Bull Hammer

Bella Twins b. Naomi/Tamina – Rack Attack to Naomi

Ryback b. Mark Henry – Top rope splash

Dolph Ziggler b. Adam Rose – Superkick

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume III at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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5 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Apparently Jamie Noble got hurt in the final segment with Brock and company. Not sure how other than he got thrown in the barricade at one point.

    RAW overall was pretty good. Roman Reigns/Sheamus was a fun Match and I loved Brock messing with Cole at the beginning. Heyman’s promo was awesome as always. Part of me thinks Brock could be getting the Belt back but maybe not as long as last time. What do you think KB?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah I can’t imagine it’s going to go until February or so. He’ll get it back at some point though.

  2. ted says:

    ” but Cena says the people are indifferent to Owens (no they’re not) and speaks French and Chinese”

    There is no such Language as Chinese. I know Cena mentions it by name. But there isn’t. I’m guessing Cantonese or Mandarin?

  3. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? Does this company know what anticipation means? Did we need to see Lesnar suplex Rollins multiple times? Couldn’t they have Rollins weasel his way out of that to build to Lesnar FINALLY getting his hands on Rollins at the PPV? Of course they wonder why no one gives a shit about the PPVs or Special Events or whatever the fuck their called now.
    And whose bright idea was it to make Lesnar look human? His whole appeal is he is a beast and he just got beaten down like anyone else on the roster. I’m assuming that was a way to write him off TV cause WWE signed that stupid limited dates contract with him. Guys like Ambrose can fall off cages and ladders and come out on RAW the next night fine, but Lesnar gets a beating and that’s the reason given for him not being on RAW the next few weeks. Who the fuck writes this crap? AND WHY THE FUCK IS SETH USING THE DAMN PEDIGREE?! Is that Triple H’s way of “wrestling” without actually getting in the ring himself? Give him back the damn curb stomp!

    Enjoy being Cena’s next victim Owens. A feud with Dolph Ziggler awaits.

    New Day of course stole the show again. Did you hear the reaction they got when they got ejected? Biggest pop of the night. Of course they fucked it up by having Evan Bourne 2.0 beat Kingston cause WWE is stupid.

    And did the Bella’s turn heel again? LOL they’re gonna give Big Show a run for his money!

    Awful show tonight and I thought once Lesnar came back this company would pick it up but boy was I wrong. They went from having Lesnar as a menacing character to just another guy on the roster getting outsmarted by the heels. Great booking there guys. #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #SaveUsNewDay #OhManHowBadWasThat

  4. Dan says:

    You might have to change those hastags today, son.

    It was Trips who ran Raw yesterday.