Monday Night Raw – July 10, 2017: More Important Than Wrestling

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 10, 2017
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Corey Graves

It’s the night after Great Balls of Fire and unless something major has changed, our top face is now an attempted murderer. Last night Roman Reigns lost the ambulance match to Braun Strowman and then attempted to kill him by putting him in the back of the ambulance and ramming it into a semi truck. You know, for kids. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Reigns nearly killing Strowman, not for a lack of trying that is.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Big Cass, with JoJo introducing him as “Seven feet tall and you can’t teach that”. Cass: “How you doin?” He’s doing pretty well because he destroyed Enzo last night. We see some still shots and a video of after the match when Enzo had to be very slowly helped through the back. Cass warns everyone up and down the totem pole that he’s coming for them, even the one all the way at the top.

No one can get on the bandwagon now because he never needed anyone here. One day, he’s going to be Universal Champion and shove it down everyone’s throat when he’s main eventing Wrestlemania and appearing on the Tonight Show. No one can touch him because he’s seven feet tall and here’s Big Show to interrupt. Show easily chases him off because we need to have Cass pass the Big Show initiation or whatever they think the upside of this is.

Here’s Elias Samson with a song for Finn Balor, which Balor cuts off in short order.

Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson

Samson slams him down a few times so Finn kicks him in the head and loads up the Coup de Grace while the announcers talk about Samson beating up a guy on the way to an Eric Clapton concert. Back from a break with Samson grabbing a seated full nelson until Balor fights up and kicks him in the head again. Finn’s next kick is countered and Balor goes shoulder first into the apron. A Fujiwara armbar doesn’t get Samson far as Balor kicks him in the head and hits the Sling Blade. The Coup De Grace is enough to put Samson away at 10:10.

Rating: D+. Just a match here and Balor going over clean is the right call. Having Samson beat Ambrose twice via interference was one thing but Balor isn’t someone you want getting pinned at this point. Samson is much more of a character than a wrestler and there’s nothing wrong with that, at least not for someone like him.

The Hardys come out to celebrate and have something to say after a break. Jeff has been talking about how the team has been having some issues of late so maybe they should fade away and classify themselves as obsolete. They’re not going anywhere though because they have magic left to work. Cue Anderson and Gallows to say they’re magic killers. Matt says they’re a little bruised and broken (pause for the pop) but we can get a referee down here right now.

Hardys vs. Anderson and Gallows

Anderson gets double suplexed to start and there’s Poetry in Motion to Gallows as we take a break. Back with Jeff eating the Boot of Doom for two but making the tag off to Matt anyway. Gallows gets in a cheap shot from the apron though and it’s the Magic Killer for the pin at 6:55.

Rating: C-. Unless I’m missing something, that’s the first regular loss for the Hardys in over two years. This would seem to be setting up the Bullet Club vs. the Broken Hardys, or at least that’s where it would be going in a more interesting world. Then again, odds are we’re getting this match again and again because that’s how WWE works.

Post match here comes the Revival to lay out the Hardys.

It’s time for MizTV with the Mizzy Awards for last night’s Intercontinental Title match. First up is Best Supporting Actor, which goes to both Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel in a tie. After they thank Miz for changing their lives, Maryse wins Most Gorgeous, Beautiful, Sexy Leading Lady. Maryse is honored and that leaves us with Greatest Man in WWE. Miz opens the envelope and is shocked to say Dean Ambrose…..but he’s just kidding because of course Miz wins.

Miz saw a lot of people running their mouths last night but Seth Rollins, the Hardys and Akira Tozawa were all just full of hot air. Last night he beat the toughest man in WWE so what does that make him? Cue Ambrose to go after Miz but it’s Rollins coming in for the real save. Hopefully this sets up Miz vs. Rollins because I don’t think I can handle Ambrose vs. Miz again.

Post break Ambrose tells Rollins that he doesn’t trust him and there’s no reunion.

Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss/Nia Jax

Bliss and Banks get things going with Alexa running away to start. Nia comes in and runs Banks over as everything breaks down. Nia and Alexa are sent outside and we take a break. Back with Bliss getting choked in the corner, followed by Bayley getting two off a kind of bulldog.

Nia gets her leg dropkicked out and Bayley snaps her throat across the middle rope. A Bliss distraction lets Nia run Bayley over and things slow down a bit. The slow beating begins with Nia sending her into the corner and getting in a splash for good measure. Twisted Bliss gets two on Bayley and Sasha avoids the charge into the barricade. Bayley rolls Bliss up for the pin out of nowhere at 9:22.

Rating: D+. The ending was rather sudden and I’m hoping they’re not expecting that to be enough to revive Bayley. She looked like the biggest loser in the world in recent weeks and a simple rollup isn’t enough to fix that. Odds are we’re heading for a multi-woman match at Summerslam and I think I’m ok with that for the most part.

We look back at the ambulance match and Strowman walking out after.

Goldust vs. R-Truth

Goldust leans over the referee to get in a cheap shot and they slug it out early on. Truth takes over with right hands in the corner but gets crotched on the ropes for his efforts. We hit the chinlock for a bit, followed by a spinebuster for two on Truth. The scissors kick connects but Truth is too spent to cover. Goldust sends him into the post and the Final Cut is good for the pin at 5:40.

Rating: D. Not the best match in the world but they were smart to do this on Raw instead of the pay per view. No matter how you look at it, they’re both older and not the best in the ring but that doesn’t mean their angle should be forgotten. There will likely be a rematch and that should wrap things up.

Here’s Kurt Angle to introduce Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar for a chat. Angle congratulates Lesnar for his win last night and says Brock surprised him. Heyman gives a quick victory speech but here’s Roman Reigns to interrupt. Roman says the three of them were all in the Attitude Era (No Roman, they weren’t.) but Angle never learned how to handle Strowman and Lesnar is never around to do it.

Reigns thinks Angle owes him one and that should be Lesnar at Summerslam. Lesnar laughs this off because Reigns hasn’t earned it. Cue Samoa Joe to say Lesnar escaped him last night instead of beating him. Joe throws in that Reigns has never beaten him and wants another piece of Lesnar. They go nose to nose but Joe stops to say Roman lost last night. Reigns: “Look at me, then look at Braun if you can find him.” Angle makes Joe vs. Reigns for the title shot at Summerslam for next week.

I’m going to assume that Strowman interferes in that match because otherwise, WWE is actually going with the idea that wins and losses mean nothing. Joe pointing out the loss made sense and Lesnar saying Reigns hasn’t earned the shot makes sense, but then they just give him a #1 contenders match anyway. That makes very little sense but you have to expect that since it’s WWE. Hopefully they come up with something, though I can’t say I’d be complaining if they didn’t just have Lesnar vs. Reigns already.

Angle and Graves are in the back with Kurt saying they got the same text. Kurt is going to go public with whatever it is next week but knows it might be the end for him. He’s even worried that his family might walk out on him. Graves says it’s not a big deal but Angle doesn’t seem convinced.

Akira Tozawa/Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar/Neville

Cedric knocks Dar outside to start and right into the waiting arms of Alicia Fox. Back inside and Swann gets caught in the numbers game and some double stomping takes us to a break. We come back with Tozawa in trouble until Alexander gets the hot tag to come in with the springboard clothesline. Neville crotches him on top though, only to get crotched as well. Cedric dives onto Dar and Tozawa kicks the ropes to make it even worse for Neville. The top rope backsplash gives Tozawa the pin at 9:34.

Rating: C. This was angle advancement to set up Neville vs. Tozawa II as well as the already announced I Quit match between Alexander and Dar to FINALLY end their feud. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but they did what they could do to set up both matches, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.

We look back at MizTV.

Rollins isn’t worried about Miz because he’s focused on Bray Wyatt.

Bray says Seth can’t escape his past or erase his sins. How dare Rollins take his eye off Bray. Wyatt is here tonight.

Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt

Rematch from last night with Wyatt starting the mind games early. Seth hammers away but gets thrown into the corner for some forearms. Bray charges into a superkick for two and Seth takes him outside to start in on the hand. Makes sense after the eye poke last night. The hand gets rammed into various objects ranging from the barricade to the steps, only to have Bray counter a springboard into a release Rock Bottom.

Back from a break with Seth fighting out of a chinlock and getting in a dropkick. Bray grabs a DDT though and it’s right back to the chinlock. Wyatt can’t get in a suplex though and Rollins scores with an enziguri for a breather. The Sling Blade drops Bray again and there’s the springboard clothesline for two more.

After a Blockbuster and Falcon Arrow give Seth two more near falls, Seth has to slip out of Sister Abigail. You don’t see this much offense from a face a lot of the time and it’s kind of cool to see for a change. Bray headbutts him in the bad eye though and Sister Abigail is good for the pin on Rollins at 17:04.

Rating: C+. The hand stuff didn’t go anywhere but it was cool to see Wyatt get a second win in two nights, especially over a major name. In theory this should send Seth on to a feud with Miz, because losing back to back matches is grounds for a title feud (Right Roman?) and that’s going to be better for most people.

Post match Bray disappears and it’s the Miztourage coming through the crowd for the beatdown. Ambrose makes the save with a chair and beats the fire out of Miz.

Angle is on the phone with someone who he wants here next week to reveal something. He says he loves them to end the show. There was no update on Strowman, which was promised all night.

Overall Rating: C. This show was hard to grade as the wrestling wasn’t anything special though I don’t think it was supposed to be. Tonight was about setting up the board for Summerslam and that’s a good idea with over a month to go before the pay per view. I’m genuinely curious about the Angle story but it seems that all roads lead to Stephanie coming back to show him how business really works. Not a great show but it did some good things to set up stories for later, which is more important than wrestling on any given night.

Results

Finn Balor b. Elias Samson – Coup de Grace

Anderson and Gallows b. Hardys – Magic Killer to Matt

Bayley/Sasha Banks b. Nia Jax/Alexa Bliss – Rollup to Bliss

Goldust b. R-Truth – Final Cut

Akira Tozawa/Cedric Alexander b. Noam Dar/Neville – Top rope backsplash to Neville

Bray Wyatt b. Seth Rollins – Sister Abigail

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14 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I think tonight was the beginning of the Hardys going Broken in WWE. Loved the segment with Brock,Roman,Joe,Kurt,and Paul Heyman, might be one of my favorites this year. Should be interesting to see where this Kurt Angle/texting thing goes next week. If i had to guess it’s leading to Stephanie’s return and setting up a Kurt Angle/HHH Match at Summerslam.

    [Reply]

    Hamler Reply:

    I’m thinking it’ll be cool way to introduce Dixie.

    [Reply]

  2. Ovelesky says:

    4 observations and takeaways

    1) this is going to be a comedy angle won’t it? This whole I love you BS will be the return of Vickie….

    2) is it me, or has Finn really fallen through the cracks in terms of both relevance and pops? crowd barely cared for him….

    3) you heard it here first folks – standard protocol by wwe to setup a triple threat for IC – Dean vs Seth vs Miz for SS

    4) RAW women put Smackdown women to shame – if only because the characters in Raw seem real and with personalities, as opposed to the cartoonish one-dimensional dancing queens, Irish lass and the works in Smackdown

    [Reply]

  3. Mike M. says:

    I’ve started to play a new game called “Guess When KB Groans While Watching WWE.” Tonight, I guessed it was when Miz said Ambrose’s name to continue dragging that feud on. Am I right?

    Finn has dropped off, I would say mostly because how he’s been used, when he’s been used. He’s more or less been a forgotten man since the 5-way that Joe won.

    Speaking of, he’s killing in the ring and on the mic. I hope he still ends up in the title picture come Summerslam.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yep. My wife, who loves wrestling but doesn’t pay attention to most of Raw, did too.

    He really had been. I don’t know if it’s just the lack of paying attention or fear for the injuries but he’s fallen off the planet. If only there was a midcard champion in need of a challenger.

    [Reply]

  4. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    It would seem to me that the smart money on the Summerslam card will be Joe v Lesnar II with the idea being that Joe is gonna try to make Brock work a long match, Reigns v Strowman V in the first ever murder match, Ambrose v Rollins v Miz because they had to freshen up the never ending feud, and Wyatt v Balor in a process of elimination match. It’s not awful be I have vision of the slog that Raw will be to get there.

    [Reply]

    Bloodbuzz Bunk Reply:

    I also forgot to add the Angle v HHH match that will result from what I have to assume is a forbidden love/affair angle with Steph.

    [Reply]

  5. M.R. says:

    I felt old as fuck hearing Angle say his match with Brock was 14 years ago..

    [Reply]

  6. Aeon Mathix says:

    How long do you think it is before the Hardys split and Jeff gets a rocket strapped to his back?

    [Reply]

    M.R. Reply:

    Can’t come soon enough. People seem to forget he was the most over guy in the company in 2009.

    [Reply]

    Greg Reply:

    Yeah, in 2009.

    [Reply]

    M.R. Reply:

    Good thing you cleared that up.

    Greg Reply:

    I meant that 2009 was a long time ago (I was completely unclear on that, my bad). There’s no indication that he can come close to that popularity again.

    [Reply]

  7. M.R. says:

    He’s basically the same character and still in his 30s, I’d say there’s a good chance he could be a star. They could certainly use one right about now.

    [Reply]

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