Monday Night Raw – July 15, 2019

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 15, 2019
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves

It’s time for the new era as Paul Heyman is in charge starting with this week and as luck would have it, we’re less than four weeks away from Summerslam. Tonight we’re going to find out who will be challenging Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar at the pay per view, which should tell you where things are going. Let’s get to it.

Here are Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar to open things up, with Lesnar holding the title like the boom box (get Stephanie’s completely random video response ready). We look back at Lesnar cashing in last night before Heyman gives us a “we told you so”. On top of that he told us that Seth Rollins wouldn’t be defending the title at Summerslam either. Heyman says he has all the stroke around here right now and for tonight, he has made a battle royal for the #1 contendership. There will be ten cross branded superstars involved, including:

Seth Rollins

Randy Orton

Big E.

Cesaro

Braun Strowman

Rey Mysterio

Baron Corbin

Sami Zayn

Bobby Lashley

Roman Reigns

Heyman laughs at the idea of Rollins strolling into Philadelphia like Becky Lynch’s stud but walking out like a gelding (Heyman: “Google it. I ain’t here to educate you.”). Whoever wins will be destroyed and robbed of his manhood and that’s another spoiler. And just remember: you’re all Brock’s b******.

Ricochet/Usos vs. Robert Roode/Revival

2/3 falls because of course. Ricochet passes Brock and Heyman on the way to the ring and….nothing happens. Jimmy superkicks Dawson to start and Ricochet adds the Recoil (Codebreaker) into a standing shooting star press for the first fall at 25 seconds. Ricochet grabs a headscissors on Roode, followed by a dropkick to bring Jey in. A spinebuster gives Roode two and it’s back to Wilder, who misses an elbow.

Jimmy comes in and things speed way up but Dawson’s flapjack catches him for the pin to tie things up at 3:44. I’m not sure if that was supposed to be the Shatter Machine or if they’re just really pushing a flapjack. Back from a break with Dawson dropping a leg and a double catapult sending Jimmy throat first into the rope for two. A hiptoss cuts off the hot tag attempt so Jimmy enziguris his way to freedom and brings in Ricochet. The Glorious DDT is countered into the Recoil and the 630 finishes Roode at 10:14.

Rating: D. Again, I have so many questions about this whole 2/3 falls thing. Are we supposed to believe that they just laid there during the break? Why is there a break between the second and third fall but not the first and second? How bad do the Usos look if they couldn’t beat Dawson in ten minutes last night but Ricochet can do it in 25 seconds? I’m sure we’ll see more of this later too.

Post match it’s the Club coming out to gloat but Ricochet dives on Styles. The brawl is on with the villains getting the better of things off the numbers game.

Viking Raiders vs. Vinny Gruner/Jackson James

The Raiders promise to rain down carnage like their ancestors. Total dominance ensues with Ivar being driven into James in the corner. He pulls James up at two and it’s the German suplex/springboard clothesline to make it even worse. The Viking Experience is good for the pin at 1:20.

We look at Undertaker pinning Shane McMahon with the Tombstone last night.

Various people are laughing at Drew McIntyre for losing and Drew calls out Cedric Alexander for his joke last week. This might be more interesting if Drew hadn’t kicked his head off and pinned him in about two minutes. Drew promises to dismember and disembowel him. Drew: “I’m only joking buddy. That’s illegal.” He’ll humble him instead. That might be illegal as well if he’s an Iron Sheik fan.

Drew McIntyre vs. Cedric Alexander

Fallout from last week. Cedric tries to speed things up to start and kicks Drew to the floor, only to get suplexed into the corner back inside. Another suplex sets up the suplex throw for two but Drew goes up and gets dropkicked out of the air. Drew has had it with Cedric and pounds him down in the corner, followed by the reverse Alabama slam but Cedric rolls through for the huge upset at 3:20.

Rating: D+. I can go with this but at the same time, Drew takes yet ANOTHER hit because WWE probably has given him the bulletproof label. That’s the worst thing that can happen to him but it seems to be what Drew has at the moment. This probably isn’t over, but at least Cedric got a win in there. I could go for more of Drew getting some big wins though, or at least any big win.

We look back at Shinsuke Nakamura beating Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Title last night.

Balor promises to get back on track by going over Samoa Joe to start.

Joe says try it. I kind of like these quick gorilla position promos.

We look back at Heyman announcing the battle royal.

Roman Reigns says this is his week from the ESPYs to the Hobbes and Shaw premiere to winning last night and now he’s getting the Universal Title shot.

Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe

Note that the recap and Reigns interview took place after Joe’s entrance. Do they really need to get the crowd ready for a match like that and then have them sit there? Joe takes him down by the wrist to start but Balor is back with a headlock takeover out of the corner. That’s reversed into a crucifix though and Balor is pinned at 1:24.

Post match Joe tries to choke Balor out but gets stomped in the chest. The Sling Blade sets up the Coup de Grace to get Balor’s heat back. The match was so short he probably didn’t even take his coat and shoes off. Balor poses but his music stops and the lights go off. We hear a beatdown taking place in the ring and the lights come back on to reveal….Bray Wyatt, in the Fiend mask, with Sister Abigail to Balor. Fans: “HOLY S***!”

That was a heck of a return, though I’m not going to be convinced that WWE is running with it until they actually give him some traction. The mask looked great and having a dual personality could be interesting. With Balor rumored to be taking some time off, having him be the first sacrifice to Wyatt could be great. It’s an awesome start, but Bray doesn’t have the track record to get me to sign off on it yet.

Drake Maverick and his wife check into a hotel (under the name 24/7 Champion) to consummate their marriage. His wife his fine with this and wants the most romantic room and expensive champagne. Maverick pays cash and even tips the desk clerk. The two of them leave and here’s R-Truth to bribe the clerk with a $1 bill. Truth asks if they have a guest under the name of Hornswoggle. Truth: “Lower case H, o-r-n-swoggle.”

The Street Profits watch and mock Maverick for being nervous. They also make their loud picks for the #1 contenders matches, with Dawkins still having a thing for Nikki Cross.

Zack Ryder vs. Mike Kanellis

Hang on as Maria wants to wrestle Zack herself. That’s not happening so Mike does it….and takes the Rough Ryder for the pin at 7 seconds. My goodness the hometown boy won a match.

Maria says that their unborn baby could have had a better chance than a loser like Mike.

The Club vs. Lucha House Party

Gran Metalik starts fast with the reverse Sling Blade getting two on Anderson. Gallows comes in and hammers away in the corner but here’s Ricochet to jump Styles for the no contest at 2:20. Actually never mind as it’s ANOTHER STUPID EXCUSE TO RESTART THE MATCH BECAUSE WE CAN’T JUST GO TO A FREAKING COMMERCIAL AROUND HERE ANYMORE!

Back with Dorado getting stomped in the corner until the Golden Rewind allows the hot tag to Kalisto. The rolling kick hits Anderson and it’s the springboard enziguri for two. A big flip dive takes Anderson down again but AJ breaks up a springboard. Kalisto tries it again but this time gets caught (mostly) in a spinebuster. The Boot of Doom hits Kalisto and the Calf Crusher is good for the tap at 8:14.

Rating: D+. Well thank goodness that they’ve come up with a bad solution to a problem that didn’t need to be fixed. This is like the Dusty Middle because there is no logical reason for it to happen (certainly not an explained one) and it’s just going to get worse as WWE continues to hammer this idea home.

We recap last night’s mixed tag and Lesnar cashing in.

Rollins says Lesnar doesn’t deserve the title and he’s possessed. Oh and Becky is tough and might be here tonight. He’ll fight anyone he has to in order to get his shot at Lesnar again.

We look back at Wyatt’s return.

Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Naomi

Elimination rules and the winner gets the shot at Becky at Summerslam. Nikki Cross is here with Bliss and Becky comes limping out to watch. Bliss heads to the floor to start and Carmella’s rollup is broken up for no logical reason. Naomi and Natalya are left in the ring with an exchange of dropkicks, nipups and clotheslines. Carmella comes back in to steal two each, because people are often pinned by delayed covers off a clothesline. She does it again and the kickouts make her scream this time.

A hurricanrana out of the corner gives Carmella two on Naomi and the spinning headscissors sends Natalya into the corner. Natalya and Naomi get kicked in the face but Bliss runs in and steals the pin on Carmella at 3:03. Naomi takes a long time slamming Bliss and then dropkicks Natalya to the floor. Some kicks have Bliss in trouble in the corner as the fans really don’t seem interested here.

Bliss gets two off a clothesline and slaps her a few times for a bonus. We take a break with everyone down as the rules seem to be abandoned in the middle of the match. Back with all three circling each other until Natalya gets sent outside. Naomi hits a Blockbuster off the steps but Bliss jumps her from behind. Bliss takes Naomi back inside for a chinlock but gets caught in a Bubba Bomb into a rollup for two.

Natalya comes back in with the discus lariat to Naomi and another chinlock. There’s the surfboard to Naomi with Bliss coming in to cover Natalya for two at the same time. Naomi is back up to kick Natalya in the face but Bliss breaks up the split legged moonsault. A helicopter bomb hits Naomi but Bliss makes the save at two. Bliss grabs ANOTHER chinlock on Naomi, because this match needs a third chinlock at about the fifteen minute mark.

Naomi fights back up but gets knocked down for a fourth chinlock. Natalya makes the save but misses a charge into the middle buckle as the fans deem this awful. Naomi’s sunset flip is countered into a rollup to give Natalya the pin at 17:19 AND WE TAKE A BREAK!!! Back again with Bliss standing on the floor for a chat with Cross. Nikki grabs the mic and demands that the fans cheer for Bliss.

A right hand puts Natalya down and Insult to Injury gets two more. Natalya hits the belly to back drop and the stepover but Bliss avoids the basement dropkick. Fans: “LET’S GO CENA! CENA SUCKS!” Natalya follows her outside and hits a clothesline on Cross as the GOLDBERG chants start. Back in and the Sharpshooter makes Bliss tap at 23:26. That has to be some kind of a record.

Rating: F. I mean, what else could this be? The match was a nightmare and I can’t blame the fans for losing their minds like this. I’m really looking forward to finding out what the deal was here because there has to be some kind of a reason that they were left out there to die like this. That match was over 200x longer than Ryder vs. Kanellis.

Post match Natalya talks about what a difference a year makes but she’s ready to face her friend. Becky gets in the ring and says she’s learned that she’s better in war than in love. Natalya says that Becky must be a bad lover then “b****”. She promises to take the horseshoe out of Becky’s a** and win the title. Well that got harsh in a hurry.

Randy Orton wants to win the battle royal and even the score with Lesnar.

It’s time for MizTV with Dolph Ziggler as the guest. Ziggler requested to be on the show because he doesn’t like what Miz has turned into. Miz sucks up to WWE and does everything that he can but doesn’t even get booked on Extreme Rules. He’s out here wearing a shirt that says LONG ISLAND IS AWESOME but he’s not from Long Island. Or Hollywood for that matter. He’s from Cleveland and now he does whatever WWE tells him to do for the fame. Just like his wife. And the beating is on with Ziggler bailing. This is on the list of matches I never need to see again.

Maverick is spreading rose petals over his hotel room bed.

We look at Wyatt’s return again.

Back in the hotel room, Drake takes off his robs and reveals nothing but the belt and underwear. His wife gets ready but room service arrives. The bellboy reveals himself to be a referee though and Maverick frantically tries to find who is here. R-Truth pops out from the bottom of the cart and crossbodies Maverick for the pin and the title. Drake gives chase and the wife is left holding a pillow and screaming. Eh I was hoping for Truth in lingerie.

We look at Roman Reigns winning the first ever WWE ESPY.

Battle Royal

Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Big E., Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Rey Mysterio, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton

The winner gets Lesnar at Summerslam, Lashley has taped ribs and Lesnar and Heyman are watching from the stage. It’s a brawl to start with Corbin going after Rollins and Strowman punching Lashley in the bad ribs. Cesaro starts running at everyone in the corner to take over, including the Swing to Rey. Another one to Big E. is broken up and Lashley dumps Cesaro for the first elimination. Strowman does the same to Lashley and it’s time for a Strowman vs. Big E. showdown.

Big E.’s running splash staggers Strowman and Big E. manages the Big Ending but walks into the RKO. Sami gets rid of Big E. but walks into the RKO. The 619 connects and Orton gets rid of Zayn. There’s an RKO to Reigns followed by another 619 but Reigns shrugs off both finishers and Superman Punches Orton through the ropes. Rey hits a springboard seated senton on Roman but gets tossed by Orton. We’re down to Corbin, Rollins, Reigns, Strowman and Orton with the latter on the floor.

Strowman puts Corbin in the ropes so Reigns can hit the apron dropkick. A superkick from Rollins is enough to get rid of Corbin and get us down to four. Reigns spears Rollins by mistake and Strowman puts Roman on the apron. It’s the Chris Benoit/Big Show elimination but Rollins knocks Reigns out as well. Rollins thinks he’s won and has to hang on when Orton comes back in to throw him to the apron as well. The hanging DDT brings Rollins back in and Orton stops to stare at Lesnar. The RKO is broken up with a superkick to the ribs and the Stomp is enough for Rollins to get the title shot at 7:47.

Rating: C-. Well that was fast (the women’s match probably took up too much time). This was going to be Rollins or Reigns winning and Seth is a much better pick than Roman in storyline terms. I don’t need to see him fight Lesnar again, but that is the kind of thing you have to expect here. I’d rather they go with this than rush what could be a big story in four weeks so at least it makes sense.

Post match, Heyman promises that Rollins is going to be conquered. Rollins tells Heyman to shut up and promises a repeat of Wrestlemania. Lesnar teases coming down for a fight to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. I’m not sure what to think of this one as the biggest problem here was how fast so many things went by. How many matches on here didn’t even make two minutes? Couple that with the INSANE women’s match getting over twenty minutes (close to half an hour counting entrances and post match stuff) and this wasn’t the best start to the Heyman era.

Other than Wyatt, nothing really jumped off the page, though it wasn’t a bad show. That one match just wrecked the show, but I’m not exactly thrilled with where things are going at moment. Then again, they have to rush for Summerslam so maybe it’s not that bad. I liked it more than some recent Raw’s, so it certainly could have been worse.

Results

Ricochet/Usos b. Revival/Robert Roode – 630 to Roode

Viking Raiders b. Jackson James/Vinny Gruner – Viking Experience to James

Cedric Alexander b. Drew McIntyre – Victory roll

Samoa Joe b. Finn Balor – Crucifix

Zack Ryder b. Mike Kanellis – Rough Ryder

The Club b. Lucha House Party – Calf Crusher to Kalisto

Natalya b. Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Naomi – Sharpshooter to Bliss

Seth Rollins won a battle royal last eliminating Randy Orton

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