Monday Night Raw – June 12, 2017: No Roman, No….Well It Still Had Problems But Different Ones.

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 12, 2017
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Corey Graves

It’s a big night as Brock Lesnar is back on the show for the first time since winning the Universal Title nearly two and a half months ago. That means we’re getting ready for his first title defense against Samoa Joe in about a month, which has been enhanced by Samoa Joe choking out Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of Samoa Joe attacking Heyman last week to send Lesnar a message. That’s still the perfect way to set the match up.

Here are Lesnar and Heyman to get things going with Paul saying it’s time for some revenge. Now last week, Samoa Joe attacked Heyman and Paul gets why that’s the case. Sometimes he certainly deserves it but that wasn’t true last week. Last week, Heyman saw someone that could go man to beast with Brock.

There have been a lot of Samoans in wrestling but Joe is the outcast one. For some reason he’s not treated the same and his biggest claim to fame is choking Heyman out. Heyman agrees that the Koquina Clutch was everything that Joe promised it would be. That made Heyman wonder what would happen to the title if Brock was ever caught in that hold. Then Heyman realized that’s not a problem because Joe isn’t man enough to get the hold on Brock Lesnar.

Cue Joe to headbutt Lesnar right in the face as the brawl is on. Security is sent out and dispatched just as fast so here’s the locker room (or at least the midcard) to try again. That goes just as badly with Joe breaking away to superkick Joe right in the jaw. The fight is finally broken up and things settle down. This was an outstanding start but there’s one thing: none of this matters if Brock is lazy and just does suplexes into an F5 at the pay per view. Make it a competitive match where they beat the heck out of each other and things will be fine. Just don’t make it a squash, please.

Back with a replay because of course.

Here’s Elias Samson to sing a song running down both Louisiana and Dean Ambrose.

Elias Samson vs. Dean Ambrose

They brawl into the corner to start with Booker praising Samson every chance he can. An elbow to the face and chop send Samson to the floor as we take a break. Back with Ambrose caught in a chinlock before fighting up with more elbows to the face. A fisherman’s suplex is good for two on Samson and the suicide dive makes things even worse.

Back in and Dean breaks up a superplex attempt, only to have Miz come out for a distraction. Samson’s rollup gets two but Dean goes after Miz and Maryse. The distraction is good for a nine count with Samson kneeing Dean in the back as he comes back in. Samson’s swinging neckbreaker is good for the pin on Ambrose at 11:49.

Rating: C. Samson is being treated as a big deal (certainly a bigger deal than he was in NXT) and that’s a good thing. Ambrose isn’t going to be hurt by screwy finishes like this one so just let him talk his way right back to his normal spot. Miz vs. Ambrose has been done to death but there’s a good chance they’ll blow the whole thing off at the pay per view.

Goldust says he and R-Truth were never friends or brothers. No one ever understood him and he’s going to make them all very uncomfortable.

Kurt Angle yells at Miz, who brings up Kurt’s personal problems. Miz wants Angle to do something about Dean but Angle says do it yourself.

Video on Cedric Alexander.

Noam Dar is in the back when Cedric comes up to say he’s done with Dar and Alicia Fox. It turns out that Alicia is talking to Alicia on Skype and she wants Cedric to say things to his face. Alexander says this ends tonight. Didn’t he just say he was already done with it?

Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar

Dar brings his phone to the ring where Fox is still yelling at him. For some reason this goes over the arena’s audio system with Alicia saying he’s making her neck hurt. As for the match, the bell rings and the Lumbar Check ends Dar at 6 seconds.

Next week, Roman Reigns will announce his plans for Summerslam. Isn’t it a bit early for that? Eh not for Reigns of course.

Bray Wyatt wants to break things.

Here’s Wyatt to talk about how people shouldn’t deny him like Seth Rollins has done. Seth lives in a glass house and a single shout brought it all crashing down. This brings out Rollins, who says he was speaking the truth when he called Wyatt a false prophet. If Bray is that disturbed by what Seth said, do something about it. Bray says Seth is beneath him and that Rollins doesn’t want this fight. The lights go out again and Bray is gone. They go out again and Bray is on the screen, saying Seth can slay a king but not a god.

The Hardys are ready to get their titles back.

Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews

Because WWE doesn’t know how to end a feud. Titus O’Neil is at ringside and has Akira Tozawa in the front row to help recruit him to the Titus Brand. You know, because he couldn’t get tickets on his own. Kalisto does his handstand walk but Crews dropkicks him down. We hit a front facelock as Tozawa is plugging his ears to avoid listening to Titus. Kalisto’s hurricanrana driver gets two, followed by Crews’ Toss Powerbomb for the pin at 2:16.

Tozawa is thrown into the ring and forced to take a picture. He doesn’t look pleased.

Miz comes up to Heath Slater and Rhyno (who are eating cheese and crackers) to offer the former a spot in his entourage. Slater seems intrigued in exchange for an Intercontinental Title shot. Rhyno doesn’t like this and tells Miz to get a partner for a tag match later.

Here’s Alexa Bliss for a chat….but she’s quickly cut off by a ticked off Nia Jax. Alexa’s tone changes in a hurry and she talks about wanting to give Nia a great match that people would talk about for years. It was Mickie James and Dana Brooke that messed things up though. This brings out Mickie and Dana to call Bliss out for saying they all have a Nia Jax problem.

Bliss doesn’t want to hear it because she’s above the two of them but here’s Emma to say it’s her time. Alexa says this is what she’s talking about and tries to get Nia on her side, only to have Sasha Banks come out as well. She wants to show Bliss how a Boss throws a party and decks Alexa in the face. The brawl is on and we take a break.

Alexa Bliss/Nia Jax/Emma vs. Dana Brooke/Mickie James/Sasha Banks

Well duh. Joined in progress with Bliss holding Dana in a chinlock until it’s off to Emma. Dana stops a charge with a raised boot but Emma kicks her in the ribs to cut off a tag attempt. That lasts all of three seconds as it’s off to Sasha for the house cleaning. Emma tries to tag off to Alexa but the champ drops to the floor and walks out. Mickie dives onto Nia and Sasha grabs the Bank Statement to make Emma tap at 3:29.

Rating: D+. At least they kept it short. These matches don’t really do much for me as they’re just throwing everything together for the sake of having everyone in the match. The teams only make a bit of sense but at least they said Angle set them up. It’s not horrible but this is your standard WWE booking formula, which isn’t the best thing in the world.

The announcers talk about Money in the Bank.

Video on Finn Balor.

Bayley sat down with Corey Graves earlier today to talk about her loss at Extreme Rules. Bayley says she’s always going to be herself and do what’s best for herself no matter what. As for her future, she wants to get her title back and walk into Wrestlemania defending it again next year. The fans need to know that they can do it their way, which is what she wants everyone to know. To wrap it up, Bayley hugs Graves, who looks a bit disturbed. Graves: “I need a cigarette.”

Miz/??? vs. Heath Slater/Rhyno

Miz doesn’t have a partner…..so here’s a bear on a tricycle. The bear scratches itself on the post and distracts Slater so he can grab a rollup for two. An armbar doesn’t get him very far so it’s off to the bear for a staredown. Heath doesn’t think much of it so the bear paws him (one of Cole’s many jokes) a few times.

It’s back to Miz, who beats the bear up. The head is taken off to reveal…..a no name. Back in and Miz gets beaten down again, only to have the bear come back in with the head on. Miz is sent into Maryse, who walks out on the match. Of course it’s Dean Ambrose underneath the match this time and Dirty Deeds gives Heath the pin at 6:30. Total comedy that advanced the story.

Rating: N/A. This wasn’t a match but a comedy segment that had wrestling involved. That being said, I had a good time with this one because it wasn’t supposed to be anything more than what it was. Just have some fun out there and advance a story with something that had been set up earlier in the story.

Video on the Hardys returning and winning/losing the Tag Team Titles.

Neville vs. Rich Swann

Non-title and Neville jumps Swann during his dancing. The Rings of Saturn go on and there’s no match.

Neville lists off the people he’s destroyed and wants to know how many more names he has to beat up before he gets his respect. That brings him to Akira Tozawa, who has been getting his attention as of late. If Tozawa keeps doing this though, he’s going to have to bend his knee as well.

Cesaro and Sheamus say they are the bar.

Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Anderson and Gallows

Hang on as Cass is down again (you can see Revival walking through the background) with Enzo running up to check on him. Cass says it was one shot to the back of his head but he’ll be out there anyway. After Anderson and Gallows get in some mocking, the match starts anyway. Cass is clearly shaken up as he beats Anderson up. It’s off to Enzo as Cass is knocked off the apron again. Enzo fights back but gets superkicked out of the air, setting up the Magic Killer for the pin at 2:27.

Big Show comes out to break up the post match beatdown. Cass isn’t cool with Show helping Enzo up.

Post break Enzo asks Show if he attacked Cass because not many people could take Cass out with one shot. Show calls Cass S-A-W-F-T.

We recap the opening segment.

Samoa Joe is ready to choke Brock out. Again, this is Joe looking serious and sounding like he can back it up. He’s also not being presented as scared of Brock, which is a rare thing.

Next week, Roman Reigns will announce his Summerslam plans. Nothing has changed in the last hour and a half.

Tag Team Titles: Sheamus/Cesaro vs. Hardys

Sheamus and Cesaro are defending and this is 2/3 falls. An early Brogue Kick misses and it’s Poetry in Motion to set up the Side Effect for two on Sheamus. Jeff tries to jump over Sheamus and gets Brogue Kicked for the first fall at 1:11. If my sources are right, that’s the first time the Hardys have been pinned in a tag match since November 2014.

Back from a break with Jeff still in trouble until he kicks Sheamus away and makes the hot tag off to Matt. The DELETE chants strike up as Matt sends Cesaro into each buckle ten times. A tornado DDT gets two and the Twist of Fate ties things up at 8:51 (total, including the first fall).

Everything breaks down in a hurry for the third fall with Jeff getting kneed in the face for two. Cesaro takes Matt down into the Sharpshooter but Jeff makes a save. The European uppercut gets another near fall on Jeff as Matt is driven into the barricade. Jeff gets in a quick Swanton but Cesaro makes the save at two. Everyone brawls to the floor and the third fall is a double countout at 15:25.

Rating: B. I’m really not sure where they’re going with this (as in I don’t know what the next gimmick will be) but this actually got me a bit more into the feud than I had been before. It’s still not the most thrilling stuff in the world but they were beating each other up here and had me interested in where it was going, which is a lot more than I can say for most feuds these days.

The Hardys beat them up a bit more to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This was….different, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. First of all, the show didn’t really have one big story and kept going around to different topics instead of focusing on one. The main event was treated like a big deal but Joe vs. Lesnar was done in the first fifteen minutes and the next major story was over the midcard title.

It felt like a throwaway show, which it probably was given the NBA Finals being on TV again. Of course that’s likely going to be used as a way to prove Roman’s drawing power, but that’s life in WWE. The show wasn’t good but it was watchable and felt a bit different, which might be the best thing I can say about it.

Results

Elias Samson b. Dean Ambrose – Swinging neckbreaker

Cedric Alexander b. Noam Dar – Lumbar Check

Apollo Crews b. Kalisto – Toss powerbomb

Dana Brooke/Mickie James/Sasha Banks b. Alexa Bliss/Nia Jax/Emma – Bank Statement to Emma

Heath Slater/Rhyno b. Miz/Bear – Dirty Deeds to Miz

Anderson and Gallows b. Enzo Amore/Big Cass – Magic Killer to Amore

Cesaro/Sheamus vs. Hardys went to a draw

 

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5 comments

  1. Undying says:

    I feel bad for the cruiserweights. It’s not their fault at all but I was in the crowd for this show and you could see people just stand up in unison and head out when the ropes were getting changed. Also Cedric and dar coming out to crickets.

    [Reply]

  2. M.R. says:

    Joe won’t get squashed, he got the big brawl treatment. The only other two to get that with Lesnar were Cena and Taker.

    [Reply]

  3. Dragon says:

    I bet Roman’s big announcement is that he wants the other big dog at Summerslam: John Cena.

    [Reply]

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I was going to say John Cena will be the one who faces Roman at Summerslam.

    [Reply]

  5. Mike M. says:

    I’m thinking Roman attempts to challenge Cena, but gets cut off by Strowman (whose cleared to return). I still say Cena defeats Mahal in his return on July 4th. It’ll be the Yokozuna Bodyslam Challenge for a new generation.

    [Reply]

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