Monday Night Raw – June 16, 2014: Sooner Than Later
Date: June 16, 2014
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
We’re in Cleveland tonight and the main story continues to be Shield vs. HHH/Orton/Rollins, which doesn’t seem to be Evolution anymore. Other than that we’re getting ready for Money in the Bank with two spots left in the World Title ladder match. John Cena is still without a match for the show, so you can probably pencil him in for a qualifying match at some point this week. Let’s get to it.
First off on a personal note, Happy Birthday Mom.
We open with the roster on the stage and the Authority walking through them to get to the ring. Stephanie knows how hard it is for the fans to not have a WE Champion because the title means so much. Look at her husband, the greatest of all time for proof of how it can immortalize people. Bryan has proven that he’s a B+ player because he didn’t have the heart to defend the title.
This brings HHH to the roster on the stage, because the next WWE Champion might be standing up there right now. Stephanie says tonight is about opportunity because someone will join the Money in the Bank match. Everyone up there will be in a battle royal, minus the Shield because they’ve refused to evolve. Also, John Cena won’t be in the match for reasons not specified. HHH knows Cena loves to help people, so tonight Cena can help the Authority. Tonight Cena gets his own chance to qualify for Money in the Bank, in a stretcher match against Kane.
Comedian Kevin Hart is guest host tonight.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
I think we had a miscue before the break as Kane came out and is nowhere to be seen now. Rollins has some new music and is back in something similar to his Shield attire, though it’s a plain black sleveless top instead of a vest. The hometown boy runs Seth over to start but Rollins slaps him in the back of the head a few times. Ziggler hiptosses him down and out to the floor for a breather. Back in and Rollins puts on a headlock before whipping Ziggler hard into the corner as we take a break.
We come back with Seth getting two off something we didn’t see before putting on a chinlock. Ziggler escapes and heads to the floor where he blocks a suicide dive. Back in and Rollins hits a quick enziguri but misses the curb stomp, allowing Ziggler to nail the jumping DDT for two. Ziggler hammers away and gets two off a sunset flip before putting on the sleeper. Seth is quicky out but the Fameasser gets two for Dolph. Not that it matters as Rollins hits two straight buckle bombs followed by the curb stomp, but Ambrose runs in for the DQ at 11:06.
Rating: C+. This was getting going but the DQ ending makes sense in this case. Ambrose not coming out there when he knew where Rollins was wouldn’t have made sense so the ending is as logical as you can get. You knew Ziggler wasn’t going to go over Rollins at this point, so there isn’t much to complain about.
Ambrose erupts on Rollins but Seth bails to the floor. Dean tells him to get down here for his beating, but HHH pops up on screen and says he has some bad news for Ambrose.
Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
This is joined in progress after a break with Dean, in street clothes, hitting a cross body and hammering away on Barrett. I’m assuming this is non-title. A snap suplex gets two on Barrett and we hit the face rip. Barrett comes back with a knee to the ribs and puts on a chinlock, complete with an angry look on his face. Bad News hammers away in the corner but Dean runs him over and fires off right hands of his own to knock Barrett outside. A big dive takes him down again but Barrett takes him inside and clotheslines Dean off the top rope to mess up Ambrose’s bad shoulder again. We take a break with the referee looking at Dean.
Back with both guys still on the floor and Barrett ramming the bad arm into the apron. They head back inside for more arm work until Dean makes a comeback with his good arm. Some right hands have Barrett staggered but he runs into Winds of Change for two. Wasteland is countered into a crucifix but Dean does his bounds off the ropes clothesline to drop Barrett. Dean is feeling the crowd because he’s an awesome face, but Rollins is on the announce table again. The distraction doesn’t work as Barrett is sent to the floor, setting up a double suicide dive from Ambrose. Dean follows Seth into the crowd for the countout at 11:55.
Rating: B-. Nice match here but more importantly Dean is FEELING IT as a face. The guy is just flat out talented and has the awesome visuals that you need to be a star. This feud is starting to make me think of HHH vs. Rock in 1998 and that feud launched both guys into the main event for the rest of their careers. That’s a very, very good sign.
Vickie Guerrero is bringing coffee to the Authority. She runs into Roman Reigns and suggests sugar. Vickie leaves the coffee there and Reigns spikes it with her gone. She sneezes again because that’s her thing now. And people wonder why the writers are mocked.
Here are the Wyatts with something to say. The ladder is set up in the middle of the ring. The cell phones for Wyatt’s entrance make for an awesome visual. Before the match Bray talks about how without power, we’re all just little mice running from the lions in the jungle. Power can be addicting because we all need and crave it. Power will be our downfall though because a powerful is to be respected, but a weak man is less valuable than the dirt he crawls through.
Bray’s game is power and that title is all the power he needs. He wants us to look at Harper and Rowan and judge them as you will. Judge them as you want, because at Money in the Bank, they’re taking the Tag Team Titles from the Usos. Bray crawls under the ladder and says at Money in the Bank, he’ll claim his power and his title. Sheamus interrupts and offers to put his boot down Bray’s throat because it’s time to fight.
Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus
It’s a brawl to start with both guys getting in their own big shots to the head. Bray takes him down and slugs away with Sheamus in early trouble. Back up and Bray’s suplex is slam is blocked into a suplex from the ticked off pale one. Now it’s his turn to hammer away on Wyatt before dropping him with a running forearm. A middle rope forearm staggers Bray and the fight goes out to the floor. The Family is about to get involved but the Usos come out to even things up as we go to a break.
Back with Sheamus fighting out of a chinlock to continue the brawl before Bray hits the running crossbody for two. Sheamus hits the forearms on the apron but Bray counters White Noise. A powerslam puts Bray down and it’s Brogue Kick time but the Family interferes for the DQ at 11:16.
Rating: C+. This was the Sheamus Special: put him in there with another power brawler and let them beat each other up for awhile. Bray is looking like a step above a dark horse for the title match and I’d love to see him get the title just to see where things go from there. Nice match here and it’s nice to see no one win in a match where both guys should look strong.
Post match the Usos and Sheamus clean house, including using the ladder as a ramp to dive on the Wyatts. Sheamus throws the ladder at the Family’s head and Rowan looked to take it full on in the face.
HHH accidentally knocks his coffee into Vickie’s face. Stephanie gets hers and says it’s good.
After the break, Stephanie is still drinking coffee and talking about how it’s every man for himself when her stomach gets upset. Because her drink is spiked and she needs a bathroom you see, because that’s what a violent and angry man like Roman Reigns does. Paul Heyman comes in to take Stephanie’s interview time and asks about who could win Money in the Bank. He says it’s going to be Cesaro and that’s a spoiler.
Rusev vs. Heath Slater
This time Lana’s speech takes place in the ring. She thinks American men should be ashamed because Rusev keeps running through them and they’re nothing compared to Vladimir Putin. We get a picture of a Russian Mount Rushmore and Rusev can apparently speak English, saying that resistance if futile. Slater actually gets to talk and asks why Lana and Rusev don’t go back to Russia if they love it so much. He’s now the American Rock Star. Heath sactually slugs away to start but runs into a right hand and the jumping superkick. Accolade ends this in 34 seconds.
Vickie is sent in to check on the sick Stephanie and gets vomited on. Vickie is put in charge while the Authority leaves. Screaming ensues. This made me groan out loud.
Reigns goes to see Vickie, who hasn’t cleaned up because, as we learned from Layla last week, showers don’t exist at WWE. Roman says she’ll get fired next week and asks to be put in the battle royal to screw with the Authority. “Fine. YOU’RE IN!” The fans seem very pleased with this.
We get a clip of Kevin Hart’s new movie Think Like A Man Too.
Kevin Hart is talking about the movie when Adam Rose and the Exotic Experience comes in. Rose plugs the movie and says Hart should be a Rosebud. Hart has no idea what he just said but says no. Kevin wants to know why they’re all singing at him and that’s about it.
Adam Rose/Summer Rae vs. Fandango/Layla
Kevin Hart is on commentary. Cole tries to explain why the girls have poured milk and kitty litter on each other and it sounds so ridiculous when you put it into words. The guys get things started as Kevin makes fun of their clothes. Layla tags herself in and we get a catfight but Layla quickly tags out. Summer chases her up the aisle and Rose hits the Party Foul for the pin at 1:25.
Hart joins the Express post match.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Battle Royal
Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Bo Dallas, Jack Swagger, Diego, Fernando, Curtis Axel, Fandango, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Ryback, Sin Cara, Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, Big E., Roman Reigns, Rob Van Dam, Bad News Barrett, Xavier Woods
Those are all the people on the graphic so there’s a chance I missed a few. Damien is LeBron James because why not. Not that it matters as everyone gets together to put him out ten seconds in. Bo throws Santino out and Rusev does the same thing to both Matadores. Woods gets the same treatment from Rusev and everyone brawls for awhile.
Ziggler is sent to the apron and Reigns eliminates Titus. Swagger puts Sin Cara on the apron before catapulting him out. Kofi can’t get Swagger out and Big E. can’t get rid of Axel. Rusev gets Ziggler to the apron but a kick to the head saves Dolph. Kofi finally gets Swagger out and we take a break. Back with Rusev, Reigns, RVD, Ryback, Ziggler, Fandango, Dallas, Big E., Axel and Barrett still in, meaning Kofi (via Ryback) was the only elimination during the break. Speaking of eliminations, Ryback punches Ziggler out to the floor for his second straight elimination.
Reigns starts cleaning house and even takes Rusev down with a Superman Punch but can’t take care of Ryback that easily. Roman sends Fandango to the apron but has to spear Ryback and Axel down. A kick to the head puts Fandango out and Rusev kicks Reigns in the chest. Big E. dumps Ryback and Reigns throws out Axel. Another kick puts Roman down but Van Dam kicks Rusev in the face. Van Dam and Dallas start fighting but Barrett takes Rob down with a big boot.
Rob comes back with more kicks but Bo shoves him off the corner for a surprise elimination. That could be Bo’s first big feud. Barrett lays out a celebrating Bo and throws him to the apron but Bo hangs on. Nice little call back to the Rumble from a few years ago. Reigns dumps Barrett and Dallas knocks out Big E., but walks into the spear. Dallas is dumped and we’re down to Rusev vs. Roman.
The fans are WAY into this and the slugout is on. Reigns gets the early advantage but walks into a wicked spinwheel kick. They trade running charges in the corner and Reigns puts him on the apron. Some big right hands can’t get rid of the Russian but the Superman Punch sends Reigns to Money in the Bank and the crowd is VERY happy.
Rating: B. I was doubting Reigns for awhile but he’s coming off like a STAR at this point, just like Ambrose. This was a really solid battle royal as there were some good saves and the last bit of the match was really solid stuff. The last pairing is how you should do big matches: take two guys who look unbeatable and have them fight. Notice the reaction and you’ll see why that’s an idea.
John Cena holds up five fingers and knocks down a finger at a time to explain why he should go to Money in the Bank. All that’s left is his index finger, because him being WWE Champion is what’s best for business. Various unfunny references to Stephanie and Vickie were included.
Cameron vs. Paige
Non-title. There’s some story here about Cameron slapping Paige on social media. Paige gets all ticked off to start and throws Cameron around by the hair before driving in some headbutts. Cameron bails to the floor but comes back in with a kick to the ribs and another slap for two. Paige shrugs it off and nails some clotheslines followed by the PTO for the submission at 3:30.
Rating: D. Total snack time match here, but it showed one thing: Cameron is there because she’s annoying on a badly scripted reality show and how she looks in shorts. She couldn’t do even basic stuff competently in there and Paige was carrying everything she could for the match. Nothing to see here and Paige needs better help.
We recap the Rhodes Brothers’ issues. Tonight Cody has found the perfect partner for Goldust. Goldust has met him and says the partner is super and galactic.
Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Goldust/???
And it’s Cody Rhodes in Goldust paint under the name Star Dust, despite Cody saying it wouldn’t be him last week. The Dusts jump Ryback and Axel to start with Cody hitting a quick DDT on Axel. Ryback is sent to the floor and Cody nails a springboard elbow to Curtis’ head. Something resembling Diamond Dust (ending in a cutter instead of a Stunner) ends Axel at 1:00.
Stephanie helped host the Special Olympics to give her a new charity to work with.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: John Cena vs. Kane
Stretcher match which is taking place because Cena is replacing Bryan due to injury. Kane easily takes him down to start and stomps away before taking him down to the floor. Cena is quickly off the stretcher and rams it into Kane’s ribs a few times to take over. A hard whip sends Cena into the steps and another puts him into the post to give the monster control again. John is put on the stretcher but gets off before they get too far up the ramp.
Back from a break with Kane still in control but Cena sends him into a chair. Cena goes up, only to jump into a chokeslam. That doesn’t mean much in a stretcher match though so Kane brings in the steps. John dropkicks the leg out though and Kane’s head slams into the steel. An AA off the steps is countered into a DDT but Cena is still dead weight. Kane can only get the stretcher partially up the ramp before Cena fights back and sends him into the post.
Kane whips Cena into the barricade and loads up the table but gets caught in an AA through said table to put the monster down. He’s still a long way from the stretcher though so Cena wisely puts him in a fireman’s carry. Cena gets him to the stretcher but collapses before he can get Kane on it. Cena finds another stretcher from ringside and gets Kane on it but here are Orton and Rollins to put Cena back in the ring. Why they didn’t put him on a stretcher is beyond me.
An RKO lays Cena out in the ring but Ambrose hits the ring to save Cena from a chair shot. Kane is back up though with a chokeslam to Ambrose, leaving us with the people in the match. Cena low bridges Kane to the floor and looks at the steps. We get the throw the steps spot but Kane mostly blocks them with his hands. He goes down anyway though and puts Kane on the stretcher but Kane sits up at the last second. He grabs Cena by the throat but Cena AA’s him back onto the stretcher to go to Money in the Bank at 15:18.
Rating: C-. These two never really worked all that well together but this wasn’t all that bad. I was thinking they wouldn’t go with Cena there for a second but I wasn’t sure what that would leave him with at the pay per view. Hopefully this gets rid of Kane for awhile as there really isn’t much for him to do right now.
Cena poses to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This show got by on energy alone and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. The parts that were good were REALLY good with the Shield stuff in particular knocking it out of the park. Rollins will be solid in his role but Ambrose and Reigns look like superstars already. The ladder match looks great and there are at least five legitimate contenders to win it.
It’s certainly not a perfect show by any means but the bad stuff was kept to a limit tonight. Yeah the stuff with the coffee was dumb and beyond a stretch, but at least the payoff was more than worth it. I have high hopes for Money in the Bank for the first time and above all else: IT LOOKS LIKE THERE WON’T BE A BRIEFCASE THIS YEAR! I couldn’t be happier about that so I’ll give the show bonus points. Really solid show this week that brought the goods.
Seth Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler via DQ when Dean Ambrose interfered
Bad News Barrett b. Dean Ambrose via countout
Sheamus b. Bray Wyatt via DQ when the Wyatt Family interfered
Rusev b. Heath Slater – Accolade
Adam Rose/Summer Rae b. Fandango/Layla – Party Foul to Fandango
Roman Reigns won a battle royal last eliminating Rusev
Paige b. Cameron – PTO
Goldust/Star Dust b. Curtis Axel/Ryback – Diamond Dust to Axel
John Cena b. Kane – Cena pushed Kane over the finish line
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