Monday Night Raw – June 26, 2017: Move Over Mae Young

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 26, 2017
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Corey Graves

Things are getting interesting around here with last week’s show seeing Big Cass revealed as attacking himself to set up Enzo Amore. Why Cass didn’t just attack Amore during a match isn’t clear but that’s life in WWE. Other than that, Brock Lesnar is in the house and planning to call out Samoa Joe. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Roman Reigns to open things up and the WE WANT STROWMAN chants are already out in full force. Reigns: “If you let me get this out you might like this.” He admits that he got choked out last week and Braun Strowman returned to pick the bones. The ambulance match is on and Reigns is ready to drive Strowman out of the building.

Cue an ambulance backing into the arena (I was hoping for a Scott Steiner cameo) so Reigns goes to investigate, only to find…..no one in the back. Instead Strowman jumps him from behind and throws Roman onto the stage. Braun isn’t done with him though and throws Roman back off the stage and against the ambulance. Reigns gets tossed into the ambulance with the doors closed without much effort.

Elias Samson/Sheamus/Cesaro vs. Hardy Boyz/Finn Balor

The good guys cut off what was going to be Samson singing with Sheamus and Cesaro, thereby making them villains. Matt and Sheamus start things off and it’s quickly off to Jeff for Poetry in Motion. Sheamus and Cesaro are sent to the floor as we take an early break. Back with Balor kicking Cesaro in the ribs and actor Josh Duhamel on commentary. A basement dropkick gets two for Balor as we hear about Sheamus appearing in a movie with Duhamel.

As you might expect, the match is COMPLETELY ignored to talk about the movie with only Duhamel sounding interested in the action. Balor tries to fight out of the corner but gets caught in an over the shoulder backbreaker. That doesn’t last long either as Jeff slips out and gets in the legdrop between Sheamus’ legs, only to be sent into the corner as we take another break.

Back with Sheamus giving Jeff the Irish Curse, which the announcers actually acknowledge. Jeff escapes again and brings in Matt to take over on Samson. The Side Effect gets two with Sheamus making the save, only to have Balor get the hot tag to really clean house. The Brogue Kick misses and Sheamus is sent outside for the big flip dive. Balor dropkicks Cesaro into the corner and the Coup de Grace is good for the pin at 17:28.

Rating: C. This was two segments in one as the first half was Duhamel plugging all of his projects (nothing wrong with that as I’m sure a studio told him to do it and he doesn’t know anything about wrestling) and then a pretty good match after the second break. Balor getting the pin is a good idea, though I’m not sure in the idea of him facing Samson in his next feud. At least the match was watchable, assuming you didn’t pay attention to the commentary.

Goldust is ready to debut the Shattered Truth because it’s the grand finale.

R-Truth vs. Goldust

Goldust has his own camera operator and is in his old gear. Truth gets jumped before the bell and laid out. No match.

Paul Heyman is talking about Samoa Joe when Joe comes up and grabs him by the throat. He lets Heyman go and says the Clutch is meant for Lesnar later tonight.

There’s a gauntlet match later tonight to determine the #1 contender to the Women’s Title. Bayley draws her number and seems pleased.

Here are Miz and Maryse for MizTV. Their guests tonight: the Ball family of NBA fame. If you don’t know who they are, just grit your teeth and bear through it. LaVar, the father, runs to the ring and lays down on the mat for a bit before introducing his son Lonzo, who was recently drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Miz is ready to start a partnership with the Ball’s Big Baller Brand but LaVar isn’t having any of that. Miz is a bit too low for LaVar, who runs his mouth about how awesome he is even more and climbs onto the bottom rope. LaVar: “BOY YOU BETTER STAY IN YOUR LANE OR THE HUNT IS ON AND YOU THE PREY!”

A fight is nearly on and here’s Dean Ambrose to interrupt, though LaVar keeps running his mouth. Dean is in a Big Baller Brand shirt because no one has bigger balls than him, plus he likes free t-shirts. That’s it for the segment, likely before LaVar can say anything else that sounds ridiculous. This was TERRIBLE and more proof that WWE cares about getting on SportsCenter and Access Hollywood than anything to do with TV. Honestly, that might have been the worst segment since Katie Vick, if not even further back than that.

Heath Slater/Rhyno/Dean Ambrose vs. Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas/Miz

Joined in progress with Slater working on Axel before it’s off to Rhyno vs. Miz. The announcers are burying the Big Baller Brand (fair enough as it’s overrated and ugly) as Rhyno gets caught in the wrong corner. Axel charges into an elbow in the corner and gets his head clotheslined off, allowing the tag off to Ambrose.

Everything breaks down and the bad guys are all sent outside as we take a break. Back with Miz hitting the YES Kicks to Slater. A neckbreaker to Axel and a heel kick to Miz are enough for the hot tag to Rhyno as everything breaks down. Axel gets in a cheap shot on Rhyno, allowing Dallas to grab a rollup for the pin at 10:22.

Rating: D+. The match was nothing to see but after the previous segment, this might as well have been Flair vs. Steamboat. I mean, it’s no Okada vs. Omega II which was totally 25% better than any “perfect” match ever or anything but it was that good. Miz having lackeys is a great idea for him as he’s the kind of guy who would pay people to hang out with him and do his bidding. It also keeps him feuding with Ambrose while keeping things a bit more fresh.

Long video on Enzo and Big Cass splitting up.

Here’s Enzo for his big speech. Enzo says this is about the realest guys in the room. He’s been trying to get hold of Cass all week, even calling his mother. The one thing he hasn’t done is talk to Cass himself so get out here right now or he’s not leaving the ring. This brings out Cass (with a slightly remixed version of the regular theme) to a hearty chorus of booing. Enzo knows that hurts him because he knows Cass better than anyone.

Words can cut you deep and he’s already bled out. Cass said a lot last week and a bunch of them were right. Enzo has the biggest mouth in the world and it bites off more than he can chew but it was ok because he had Cass with him. Last week, Cass let out his aggression with a lot of passion, which Enzo has seen from him before. The last time Enzo saw it was when he woke up in a hospital bed after getting knocked out on a pay per view. Enzo isn’t letting him walk away before they become Tag Team Champions.

Cass takes the mic and says Enzo doesn’t know when to shut up. After last week, he’s never been so ashamed in his life. Yes Enzo is annoying and loud but that’s just how he is. They’re not going to change each other and they’re brothers. Cass apologizes and they shake hands with Cass hitting the catchphrase. They walk up the ramp….and there’s the big clothesline to Enzo. Cass asks the people if they want Enzo before tossing him down the ramp like a doll. That was a great speech from Enzo and Cass not caring is exactly the right call. I’d have had him kick Enzo in the face and leave without saying a word but this works too.

Post break Cass comes up to Corey Graves and tells him to stay out of his life, no matter what Graves has on Angle.

Seth Rollins vs. Curt Hawkins

Hawkins starts fast and grabs a suplex before throwing on a chinlock. Rollins easily fights back and grabs a Sling Blade, followed by a Blockbuster. The springboard clothesline sets up the windup knee to the face for the pin on Hawkins at 2:59.

Bray Wyatt pops up to say Seth isn’t being himself and on July 9, he’ll take Rollins back where he belongs. So the match is confirmed.

Mickie James and Dana Brooke draw their numbers. Geez people pick up the pace a bit.

Post break, Banks draws her number.

Here’s Paul Heyman to talk about Samoa Joe not fearing Brock Lesnar. Heyman could have taken a cheap shot at Joe in the back and been saved by everyone breaking it up but he’d rather have Lesnar do it himself. This brings out Lesnar but Joe grabs him from behind on the stage and puts on the Koquina Clutch. Lesnar turns purple but drives Joe into the video wall, only to get choked down again. The locker room comes out to break it up but Brock looks really shaken.

Again, this was VERY well done with one very special key: Lesnar fought back but got choked down again. That makes it look like Joe can take something from Lesnar instead of just getting the upper hand in a blindside attack. Joe does not have to win the title but just doing stuff like this to make him feel like a threat is exactly what they needed to be doing.

Neville vs. Lince Dorado

Non-title with Akira Tozawa at ringside. Neville kicks him to the corner to start and grabs an early chinlock. Dorado fights up and hits a flip dive through the ropes, only to get kicked in the head. The Rings of Saturn makes Dorado tap at 3:03.

Rating: D. Just a squash here but I’m always a fan of using jobbers like this. Dorado doesn’t lose anything important by losing to the champ and Neville looks good by being so dominant. It also sets up the post match confrontation, so we can call this a well done little segment, even if the match wasn’t great.

Post match Neville is ready for the fight and Tozawa is happy to oblige but Titus O’Neil comes out to announce the Cruiserweight Title match for Great Balls of Fire. We’ll find out if the Neville Level can contend with the Power of Tozawa.

Emma draws.

We look at the opening segment.

Heyman thinks Lesnar will lose if he gets choked out at Great Balls of Fire. As a promoter though, he loves his because it’s set up perfectly. At the pay per view, Brock is going to hit the F5 and Samoa Joe is going to need smelling salts to be woken up. Joe is going to say that’s what it’s like to fight the Beast. Heyman: “Goodness, gracious, GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!”

Nia Jax has drawn the final number and runs into Alexa Bliss, who knows what it’s like to be judged, just like her. She wishes Jax luck but Nia says she doesn’t need it.

Gauntlet Match

Six women involved total with two starting. Whoever wins the fall keeps going until all six are in with the last woman surviving getting a title shot at Great Balls of fire. Bayley is in at #1 and Nia Jax is in at #2. Bayley slugs away to start but is easily knocked into the corner for some choking. A missed charge lets Bayley hit a top rope elbow drop to a standing Nia’s back but some kicks to the leg don’t get her very far. Instead Nia kicks her into the corner and grabs the Samoan drop for the pin at 3:37. Mickie James is in third and we take a break.

Back with Nia blocking a sunset flip and grabbing a bearhug. Mickie slips out and kicks Nia out of the corner, followed by the top rope Thesz press for two. The spinning kick to the head staggers Jax but she runs Mickie over for the pin at 10:03. Dana Brooke is in fourth and the legdrop ends her at 11:02. Emma is in fifth and the Samoan drop gets rid of her at 12:31. That leaves Sasha Banks in sixth and she knocks Nia to the floor, only to have her suicide dive pulled out of the air. Sasha slips out and poses Nia, followed by the running double knees from the apron to take us to another break.

Back again with Nia holding a chinlock until Sasha fights up with the running knees in the corner. A very hard clothesline gives Nia two and she drops an elbow for the same. Nia takes out the leg and sends Sasha outside for a nine count before throwing on a bearhug. Sasha reverses into a guillotine (she’s been watching those Bayley tapes) but Nia powers her up into a suplex slam.

The legdrop misses though and Sasha hits a hard running elbow to the face. A standing Banks Statement is easily broken up and there’s another Samoan drop to send Sasha out to the apron. Nia pulls her up but gets caught in a modified Bank Statement with both of them on their knees, finally drawing the tap at 28:21.

Rating: B. Now why couldn’t they have done that with Bayley at some point? Anyway, this was the way you build a star up and Banks did just that to end the match. I can live with them pushing someone like Banks as a top star and her match with Bliss should have a lot of potential. Really strong performance from Jax here, who keeps a lot of momentum from winning four times in a row before losing partially due to exhaustion.

Post match Kurt Angle comes out to congratulate Sasha. Alexa is out as well but gets kicked in the face, allowing Sasha to hold up the title to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was the moving day show with four matches being confirmed for the pay per view, including the second biggest match on the card and two title matches. Now that being said, a lot of the good is dragged down by perhaps the worst segment I’ve ever seen.

That ranks up there with Katie Vick and Mae Young giving birth to a hand: they’re embarrassing and make you want to change the channel if someone happens to walk into the room. Take that out and this is a much better show, but don’t be surprised tomorrow if you hear about Ball “selling his brand on some stupid wrestling show”. But any publicity is good publicity, right Vince?

Results

Finn Balor/Hardy Boyz b. Cesaro/Sheamus/Elias Samson – Coup de Grace to Cesaro

Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas/Miz b. Heath Slater/Rhyno/Dean Ambrose – Rollup to Rhyno

Seth Rollins b. Curt Hawkins – Windup knee to the face

Neville b. Lince Dorado – Rings of Saturn

Sasha Banks won a gauntlet match last eliminating Nia Jax

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24 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    The Lavar Ball stuff aside I thought this was a really good RAW. Not sure i’d go as far as calling it Katie Vick or Mae Young giving birth a hand levels of bad though. The Womens Gauntlet was very good including the storytelling with Nia Jax dominating before Sasha Banks found a way to win. Also loved the Brock/Joe stuff, Roman/Braun in the open, and the Enzo/Cass segment.

  2. Lamelo Bal says:

    What was the point of LaMelo being there? Do you think Lavars farts smell? I wonder if he farted in the ring out of nervousness and Miz got mad lol. I hear the Ball brothers are obsessed with Sensational Sherri especially when she was in stockings.

  3. Aeon Mathix says:

    I really didn’t think that lavar segment was that bad, but neither did I think Bayley and Alexa were. Idk maybe it just takes a lot to irritate me

  4. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    Some fame leeching will never be worse than a multi week angle focused on alleged necrophillia that culminates with the current world champ and future top executive dry humping a mannequin in a funeral parlor. Nothing can top that for awfulness.

  5. Tyrone Willingham says:

    The Katie Vick segment was very smart – Also any segments with Stephanie McMahon sharing her legs and in heels is perfect – But I agree with Lamelo – Any segment/match with Sensational Sherri in stockings and heels was the ultimate experience

    BestSportsEntertainer Reply:

    Necrophilia is smart…..?

  6. BJ says:

    That Lavar Ball segment was da dumbest most confusing segment I ever seen n wrestling. Did anyone catch him saying “beat that nigga ass” tho?

    Jerichoholic94 Reply:

    Yeah I caught it. Honestly I’m surprised it wasn’t a lot worse. I thought LaVar was gonna screw it up and I didn’t even notice it until I rewatched the rerun and they STILL LEFT IT IN. I don’t really care I think everybody is making a big deal out of it and before somebody says I don’t have any say I’m a person of color and I’m not here to debate.

    Greg Reply:

    The not da. In not n. Though not tho.

  7. BestSportsEntertainer says:

    Can we say the LaVar segment was worse than the Old Day, Michael Cole vs. John Cena, the Today Show hosts, “I wish you died in the womb”, Donald Trump vs. Rosie O’Donnel, or Hornswoggle being the anonymous Raw GM and Vince’s illegitimate son?

    It was bad, but everyone is severely overstating how bad it really was.

  8. BestSportsEntertainer says:

    Here’s Hornswoggle being announced as the anonymous Raw GM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K91N6UBiIg

    Was LaVar’s segment really worse than this? Absolutely not.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    For me it was, as the Hornswoggle thing actually had something to do with wrestling. It was stupid, but not embarrassing as A, a wrestling fan and B, someone with anything resembling human intelligence. I have a real issue with rewarding stupidity/being loud and annoying and that’s everything wrong with the Ball family.

    M.R. Reply:

    Relax. It was bad, but it’s always bad when “celebrities” make cameos, not to mention it got them mentioned on ESPN/other sports networks all throughout the day yesterday which is always the objective with the celebrity crap. It was nowhere near as bad as you’re making it seem.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Most of those celebrities can speak English. Those days sound nice around now.

    M.R. Reply:

    It was bad, but comparing it to Katie Vick is flatout stupid.

  9. M.R. says:

    Huge overreaction to the Ball stuff.

  10. Max G says:

    How about that segment a couple months ago where Cass made Enzo smell his a$$ in order for him to bang Lana? Why would Enzo smell his a$$?? Lana was not going to let him lick her legs!!! Enzo is so dumb

  11. BJ says:

    Excuse me but r u an English teacher???

    Greg Reply:

    Sorry, could you ask the question again in English?

  12. BJ says:

    Excuse me but are you an English teacher?

    Greg Reply:

    Now I understand the question. I am not a teacher.

    BJ Reply:

    Then STFU and move around. Don’t worry about how I text

    Greg Reply:

    This isn’t texting. You forgot a period.

  13. Henders says:

    Enzo likes smelling big Cass’ feet