Monday Night Raw – July 8, 2019

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 8, 2019
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

We’re in the second week of the Paul Heyman era around here and so far, things have been rather successful. What matters most coming out of last week was how different things felt in the area of the show just feeling more energized. It’s the go home show for Extreme Rules, and hopefully we get something that can overcome the Baron Corbin Effect. Let’s get to it.

Andrade/Zelina Vega vs. Becky Lynch/Seth Rollins

Elimination rules for the sake of the commercials. Becky takes Vega down without much trouble to start but gets caught in a DDT. Another toss sends Vega into the corner so it’s off to the men for a change. Andrade works on a wristlock but gets armdragged down as the announcers talk about the personal and professional damage that could take place should Becky and Seth lose on Sunday. Rollins sends him outside for the suicide dive, leaving Becky to Dis-Arm Vega for the tap at 4:57. Hang on though as Becky goes into the crowd to fight Lacey Evans and we take a break.

Back with Andrade stomping away as Becky isn’t allowed in the match anymore. So….the elimination rules are pretty much worthless no? Andrade goes up top and knocks away a superplex attempt, setting up the top rope double stomp for two. Seth is fine enough to hit the springboard knee to the head for two but Vega, still at ringside, gets in a headscissors.

Becky dives onto her until Andrade breaks it up. Seth freaks out but Andrade runs Becky over by mistake. The distraction lets Andrade hit the running knees in the corner for two but Becky goes after Vega again. That distraction is enough for the Stomp to finish Andrade at 14:13.

Rating: D+. I don’t remember the last story and feud that I can remember that was this much death for everyone involved. I don’t know who benefits from this or who thinks this is a great idea, but egads it isn’t working. Both Rollins and Lynch feel like they’ve lost a bunch of energy and Corbin brings down any segment where he appears. Find something fresh after Sunday, because my goodness this is a disaster.

Post match Baron Corbin jumps Rollins so Lynch goes after Corbin, allowing Evans to pop back in with the Woman’s Right. Paul Heyman comes out and we take a break.

Post break Corbin and Lacey say that was easy and wonder how Rollins and Lynch are going to be when they lose their titles. Their relationship is purely professional because caring about each other would be a liability.

Back in the ring, Heyman talks about how there is going to be an event on Sunday which is all about being extreme. And it’s in Philadelphia, where he knows what it means to be extreme. This Sunday, Brock Lesnar will cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and that is a spoiler. Now Heyman has never lied about a spoiler, which makes it all the easier for him to lie about it now. Only he and Lesnar know the truth. Good grief we’re going to have to put up with this until Wrestlemania aren’t we?

We look back at the exploding set from last week and Bobby Lashley’s promo about sending Braun Strowman to the morgue next time. They’re in a Last Man Standing match on Sunday.

Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre ask a trash man to be Roman Reigns’ partner tonight.

Usos/Miz vs. Revival/Elias

Say it with me: 2/3 falls. Dawson takes Jimmy into the corner to start and Elias plants him with a slam. Wilder comes in and everything breaks down with Miz sending Elias into the barricade. The chase leaves Jimmy to take the Shatter Machine for the first fall at 3:02. Back from a break with Jimmy ducking a charge from Dawson as Elias has left the Revival down 3-2.

Jimmy fights out of the villainous beatdown and brings Jey back in for an enziguri to Wilder. Dawson comes back in with a brainbuster but it’s back to Miz for the Skull Crushing Finale and the second fall at 10:58. A double superkick to both Revivals sets up the Superfly Splash for the pin at 11:38.

Rating: D. How in the world is this supposed to be better than missing four minutes in a commercial and coming back with a chinlock? This is far more annoying than the Wildcard Rule, but I still wonder what the fans who don’t know about the rule are thinking. Is there a reason Miz has had four 2/3 falls matches in about two weeks?

We recap Renee Michelle and Drake Maverick’s honeymoon, which took place in the same city they live in. Drake kept taking pictures of himself with the title, mostly holding it in front of her face.

In the arena, Drake promises to give her a great honeymoon after the title stuff is done. That’s fine with Michelle, who says once it’s over, they can consummate the marriage. Drake is very happy and then runs away from the mob.

Here’s Rey Mysterio for his return to the show after six weeks off for a shoulder injury. He’ll get straight to the point: it’s an open challenge to anyone in the back.

Rey Mysterio vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley goes with the power to start but Rey gets in a tornado DDT. A dropkick to the back sets up a 619 but Rey dives into a lifting Downward Spiral. The spear finishes Rey at 1:53. Ok then.

Post match Lashley drags Rey to the top of the stage and teases gorilla pressing him through the set. Instead he throws Rey onto some referees and promises to be the last man standing on Sunday.

AJ Styles says he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for the Club getting back together last week. The Good Brothers follow suit.

Cesaro vs. No Way Jose

Cesaro takes him to the floor before the bell so Jose manages a whip into the barricade. We start the match proper with Jose hitting a backdrop but getting run over again. The Sharpshooter finishes Jose at 1:13.

The Street Profits are here again to say that you should never cross Cesaro. They plug Extreme Rules and promote a few individual matches before making their predictions on McMahon/McIntyre vs. Undertaker/Roman Reigns. Dawkins thinks Undertaker and Reigns but they’re not sure about what will happen to Reigns tonight. Ford: “We’re out of time. KERWIN! IN THE TRUCK! TRANSITION!”

We look back at Maria Kanellis revealing that she is pregnant last week.

Mike Kanellis brings Maria some flowers and they say they love each other. Maria says she loves ice cream and it takes Mike a few seconds to get the hint. He finally offers to go get her some (with pickles). Mike: “Non fat ice cream it is.” Maria: “SO NOW YOU’RE SAYING I’m FAT???” That man is in so over his head.

We get a split screen interview with Bayley and Nikki Cross. Nikki is so thankful to Alexa Bliss but Bayley calls Bliss out for lying. Cross doesn’t want to hear this but Cole interrupts and explains tonight’s Beat the Clock Challenge. Bayley is facing Sarah Logan and isn’t afraid of the chaos Logan brings. Nikki, facing Dana Brooke, knows that she is overpowered and outsized but she’ll beat Dana for Alexa.

R-Truth and Carmella are hunting for Drake Maverick. Truth is worried that Drake is going to show his baby some scary movies. This turns into a chorus of With My Baby Tonight as Drake and the mob run past them. The chase is on….with Truth and Carmella running the wrong way.

Viking Raiders vs. Colin Justin/Devin Justin

Powerbomb into a big splash gets two with Ivar pulling Devin up. It’s a powerbomb/World’s Strongest Slam combination into the Viking Experience for the pin at 1:21. Total and complete squash.

Post match it’s Drake and the Mob running into the ring with Heath Slater being destroyed. Truth thinks better of it and runs away with Carmella on his back again.

Roman Reigns isn’t worried about tonight’s tag match.

Ricochet vs. Luke Gallows

Non-title. Before the match, Ricochet talks about AJ Styles turning on him and the beatdown from last week. He knows that’s going to happen this week as well so all three of them can get out here. That’s exactly what happens too but AJ grabs a mic of his own. AJ tells Ricochet to appreciate the moment because Gallows is about to give him another beating. Speaking of appreciating the moment, here’s a clip from last week’s beatdown.

Back in the arena, Gallows wastes no time in hitting a big chokeslam. The chinlock goes on and Gallows turns him inside out on a clothesline. AJ is very, very pleased with this beating. Gallows loads up a fall away slam but Ricochet slips out and reverses into a sunset flip for the pin at 2:59.

Hang on though as AJ says Ricochet can leave or fight Karl Anderson RIGHT NOW.

Ricochet vs. Karl Anderson

Non-title again. Anderson runs Ricochet over this time and gets two off a clothesline. The chinlock goes on again as AJ is rather pleased again this time around. This time the comeback is cut off with the spinebuster and Gallows adds a right hand. Ricochet nails him with a flip dive, followed by the middle rope moonsault to Styles. Back in and Anderson hits the post, leaving Ricochet to hit the 630 for the pin at 4:30.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere and while I like the idea of Ricochet getting some momentum, I could have gone without having him beat both Good Brothers in a row. That being said, they didn’t have many other options and at least the first one looked more like a fluke. Anderson and Gallows will be fine as big lackeys anyway.

Post match AJ hits a brainbuster on Ricochet, followed by the Magic Killer. AJ says he’s a good guy and leaves, but Ricochet gets up so it’s a Phenomenal Forearm for his efforts.

Ad for Saturday’s Evolve ten year anniversary show.

Drake comes up to Michelle and says he survived the night. Truth and Carmella pop up out of a case and the chase is on again.

Shane and Drew offer a janitor $5000 to be Reigns’ partner. They’ll even give him a mask. That’s fine with him as long as he gets the $5000.

Bayley vs. Sarah Logan

Beat the Clock Challenge with whoever gets the fastest time getting to choose the stipulation for Bayley vs. Bliss. Bayley hits a quick high crossbody for two but Logan hits a pop up headbutt. A baseball slide puts Bayley on the floor and it’s back inside for Logan to crank on the leg. The CM PUNK chants begin as Bayley escapes but the comeback is cut off by a clothesline for one. Bayley fights up again and this a sunset bomb into the corner for the win at 4:32.

Rating: D. Can you blame the fans for being bored? This was the match that gets to be set against the other match with the winner of that getting to pick a stipulation for a title match with someone involved who isn’t in either of these matches. Just name a stipulation and stop coming up with excuses for short matches. It’s ok to have them, but one excuse after another comes off as dumb and the fans are going to get sick of it, especially under these circumstances.

Dana Brooke vs. Nikki Cross

The time is set at 4:32. Dana bails to the floor to start and hugs Bayley, who is fine with the collusion. Back in and a slingshot dropkick gives Nikki two but Brooke grabs a rollup for the same (and for some blatant spot calling). Dana slams her down but misses the Swanton, only to small package Cross for two. Not that it matters as the Purge finishes Brooks at 2:42.

Post match Cross wants Bayley in the ring to say something to her face. For weeks, Bayley has been trying to tell Nikki that Bliss is out to stab her in the back so Nikki is going to show her what friendship is. It’s going to be a 2-1 handicap match on Sunday with Nikki helping Bliss win the title back. Nikki suggests that Bayley find a friend to slap some sense into her, so Bayley slaps Nikki and hits the Bayley to Belly. Bayley even drops the top rope elbow. They’re teasing the heck out of Sasha Banks here and please….no.

Mike brings Maria the ice cream and pickles but she can’t eat that because it’ll make her fat. She wants to know if Mike would impregnate her right now if he could. Of course he would, but that’s never happening again. She’s not even sure if he did it this time. Mike: “……what are we doing?” Maria: “LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO ME!!!” Mike leaves out of fear.

We recap Corbin and Evans beating down Rollins and Becky earlier tonight.

Rollins and Lynch don’t like being asked about their personal lives about Sunday. They’re walking out as champions, just like they’re walking in. Rollins: “Uh, yeah. What she said.”

We look back at Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe’s brawl on Smackdown.

The Street Profits predict some more matches but Dawkins has to tell Ford not to imitate the Rock. Dawkins picks Corbin and Evans to win and Ford stares blankly at the camera. Dawkins: “GOT HIM!” He really picks Becky and it’s time to sing about wanting the smoke.

Shane McMahon/Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns/Gary Garbutt

Before the match, Shane promises to destroy Reigns on Sunday. Drew says Reigns has no respect for anyone but he’ll beat some into Roman on Sunday. Shane introduces Gary with a list of accomplishments and we’re ready to go. Gary, in a mask and full body suit, is limping to the ring and holding his stomach so things aren’t going to go well here. Drew starts fast with a headbutt to Reigns but gets knocked into Gary for the tag.

Gary manages an enziguri but botches a springboard clothesline. The Neutralizer has Cole wondering who he is as Gary, the guy of Cedric Alexander’s size does Cedric Alexander’s offense (Is this some kind of a rib on Rhyno appearing at Slammiversary last night?). A big running flip dive takes Drew down and Gary hits a springboard crossbody on Shane. Drew comes back in with a Claymore though and Shane gets the pin at 2:13.

Post match Reigns unmasks Gary and of course it’s Cedric. That’s quite the non surprise to end the show. Sidebar: is Reigns hurt or something? Since Stomping Grounds he’s barely been in the ring and his appearances feel like they’re being kept short every time.

Overall Rating: D+. This was some weird hybrid of Heyman and Vince’s Raws and the end result was not pretty. There were ten matches on this show (including a 2/3 falls match) and more than half of them were too short to rate. I prefer a bunch of short matches, but don’t make it so obvious that you’re trying to have short matches and need a bunch of ways to get there. The no wrestling during commercial thing continues to be more annoying than useful but you know how Vince can be when he gets stuck on an idea.

The bigger problem continues to be the lack of a good top story. They have got to get past this mixed tag/Seth vs. Corbin thing in a hurry because it’s killing what could be an otherwise entertaining show. Throw in Shane and Drew hunting for a bad partner (Again, an acceptable enough idea, but where it the benefit in having Cedric under the mask if he’s going to lose just as fast as anyone else would have?) and it was hard to get behind the big stuff tonight. There were a lot of nice little things going on, but it felt like throwing as much as possible against the wall and seeing what stuck.

I can’t blame Heyman for how things are going yet because he still has to deal with the two top stories that just don’t work. Corbin and Shane are still the same problems they’ve been for months and Eddie Graham in his prime would have trouble making people care about them. Until they’re gone, it doesn’t make much of a difference what Heyman does. This show was better than a few weeks ago, but the same problems have have been around for weeks were around here again and there aren’t many ways around that.

Results

Seth Rollins/Becky Lynch b. Zelina Vega/Andrade – Stomp to Andrade

Miz/Usos b. Revival/Elias – Superfly splash to Dawson

Bobby Lashley b. Rey Mysterio – Spear

Cesaro b. No Way Jose – Sharpshooter

Viking Raiders b. Colin Justin/Devin Justin – Viking Experience to Colin

Ricochet b. Luke Gallows – Sunset flip

Ricochet b. Karl Anderson – 630

Bayley b. Sarah Logan – Sunset bomb into the corner

Nikki Cross b. Dana Brooke – Purge

Shane McMahon/Drew McIntyre b. Roman Reigns/Gary Garbutt – Claymore to Garbutt

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