Monday Night Raw
Date: June 1, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton
We’re less than two weeks away from Backlash and that means it’s time to get the hard push going. They’re doing something right with Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley as last week’s brawl went pretty well. What matters is getting something else underneath that and pushing “the greatest wrestling match ever” isn’t really working. Let’s get to it.
Here are Seth Rollins and company to open things up. Rollins talks about wanting to face Aleister Black soon but later tonight, it’s Rey Mysterio’s retirement ceremony. Rey won’t be here to retire himself though so Seth, as the leader, is going to appreciate Rey for the rest of us. See, Rey was a sacrifice for the greater good of Monday Night Raw, which was a moment that will live in time forever. Rollins has prepared a video on Rey’s career, which starts off as a nice tribute and then jumps to Rollins taking out Rey’s eye. Cue Black to deck Rollins and clear the ring.
Seth Rollins vs. Aleister Black
They slug it out to the floor to start with Black getting the better of things. Rollins hits a dropkick on the way back inside though and it’s time to stomp away. There’s a dropkick and Rollins talks trash about Black disrespecting Mysterio. Black is sent outside for the suicide dive into the barricade but Rollins misses an enziguri back inside. Black hits a kick to the head but gets backdropped over the top to land face first on the apron in a nasty looking crash.
Austin Theory and Murphy go after Black but here’s Humberto Carrillo (ERG) for the save with a chair before anything happens. Back from a break with Rollins choking away in the corner and slugging off a comeback attempt. The top rope knee to the head misses and Black slugs away with some more success. The Lionsault gives Black two and a German suplex is good for the same. Rollins gets in a low superkick into the Falcon Arrow for two more.
The frog splash hits knees though and they head to the apron for a kickoff. Black kicks him into the steps and hits a moonsault to the floor as we take another break. Back again with Rollins knocking Black off the top and hitting the frog splash for a delayed two. The Stomp misses though and Black grabs an armbar. That’s broken up so Rollins tries another springboard, only to get kneed out of the air. Humberto cuts off Theory and Murphy from interfering, allowing Black to roll Rollins up for the pin at 21:08.
Rating: B-. This felt long but the bigger problem is Rollins losing again. He’s one of the featured stars of the show and he hasn’t exactly won anything important in a good while. I do like Black getting a win though as it gives him a nice boost, though I’m not sure where he is supposed to go at the moment.
Post match the beatdown is on and Black has to watch Carrillo take the Stomp. Rollins asks if Black wants to be a hero and then Stomps him as well.
We look back at Angel Garza beating Kevin Owens last week.
Garza talks about how everything goes in love. In competition and seduction, you must always be one step ahead. He even has a rose for Charly Caruso, but Zelina Vega rips it up.
Shawn Michaels talks about Edge and Randy Orton because he knows about having the greatest matches ever. He picks Edge.
Video on Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley.
Lana again yells at MVP, who cuts her off and says he isn’t getting sucked into a bunch of attention seeking drama. She accuses him of trying to revive his career but MVP isn’t really phased. Lana calls him a leach, which MVP says means there are two of them. That earns him a slap but no screaming this time.
We recap the opening sequence.
Kayla Braxton brings out Apollo Crews for a chat. Crews talks about how it hasn’t sunk in yet but for tonight, he gets to pick his own opponent. Here’s the opponent for the title defense.
US Title: Apollo Crews vs. Kevin Owens
Crews is defending and Owens has a bad knee coming in. Before the match, Owens thinks Crews is giving him the title shot out of pity. Crews insists that he deserves it, but Owens says the first title reign will be a short one. They start fast with Crews hitting a dropkick for one but Owens is back with his own dropkick. A clothesline to the floor looks to set up the flip dive but Crews is smart enough to step to the side.
Crews’ moonsault off the apron misses so Owens hits a Cannonball off the apron instead. Back in and the Swanton gets two on Crews in a near fall. We pause for a quick injury to Crews, who was goldbricking so the slugout can be on. They fight out to the floor and we take a break. Back with Crews charging into a superkick but coming back with an enziguri for two. A corner splash connects but Owens knocks him down, only to have the Swanton hit knees. They’re both down so here are Andrade and Angel Garza for the double DQ at 10:24.
Rating: C. This was starting to get good near the end and at least Crews looks like a fighting champion instead of someone who loses in his first defense. That being said, it’s more interference to set up an impromptu tag match because that’s one of the favorites around here. A four way at Backlash wouldn’t surprise me.
Angel Garza/Andrade vs. Kevin Owens/Apollo Crews
Never let it be said that this company doesn’t change up something that they like. Joined in progress with Crews being stomped down and Andrade hitting a running knee to the face. Garza comes in for a kick to the face but Crews gets over for the hot tag to Owens. That’s fine with Andrade, who pops him in the face and grabs a half crab. Owens breaks it up and brings Crews back in for an Angle Slam to Andrade. Garza hits Owens in the knee, leaving Andrade to take the Toss Powerbomb for the pin at 4:59.
Rating: D+. It was the short form version of the same kind of match we’ve seen for years. There was nothing interesting here but at least Crews got a pin. Odds are it’s a four way for the title somehow, which could be a nice win for Apollo, assuming they don’t put it on Garza as fast as they can.
We recap the Viking Raiders vs. the Street Profits in various competitions.
Tonight, it’s bowling, with the Raiders being rather good at the game. The Profits are terrible for the sake of tying the score. The Raiders even provide beverages, in the form of goat’s milk. With the Profits not being able to hit a single pin, the Raiders raid the snack bar but don’t get thrown out because Ivar is cute. The Profits want the smoke so the lights get all flashy and the comeback is on. It’s 130-121 to the Profits with one Raiders ball to go, so Ivar is thrown down the alley and hits a strike to win by one pin. That ties the competitions at 2-2.
We recap the IIconics attacking Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss last week.
Cross/Bliss and the IIconics have to be separated in the back.
Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay
Cross sends her into the corner over and over to start, setting up a basement dropkick for two. A big boot gives Kay two and she elbows Cross for the same. The kickouts are getting on Kay’s nerves so Cross slugs away and even hits a slingshot dropkick to the ribs. The missile dropkick doesn’t work though and Kay hits a sitout Rock Bottom for the pin at 5:10.
Rating: D+. They’re sticking with the greatest hits tonight as we get the challenger pins champion checked off the list. It’s an interesting idea to have the champs trying to fight two battles at once and coming up a bit short though so points for trying something different. And having the champions actually do something of course.
Drew McIntyre is ready to Claymore MVP again if that’s what he wants.
Rey Mysterio joins us via satellite and says he isn’t sure when he’ll be back. If the wound is infected, his career is over. His retirement isn’t in his hands anymore and he may never be cleared to compete again. As for Seth Rollins, he certainly has a lot of negativity for someone who claims to be a messiah. Dominick comes in to say that someone from this family needs to fight back and no he won’t calm down. Rey isn’t happy with what Rollins has put his family through and leaves. Dominick stays and says an eye for an eye.
Here’s Nia Jax to say she didn’t start this with Kairi Sane. This is all smoke and mirrors, just like Asuka’s title reign. Asuka is champion because of Becky’s hormones and now Nia is the victim in all of this.
We recap R-Truth and Rob Gronkowski arguing over the 24/7 Title.
Earlier today, Gronkowski was doing a Tik Tok photo shoot when R-Truth, as the gardener, rolled him up to steal the title back. Good. Now stay gone.
Kairi Sane vs. Nia Jax
Nia shoves her down to start and pats her on the head, earning a shot to the face. Sane gets in a sleeper but Jax slips out, leaving Sane to kick away at the back/shoulder. Back up and a headbutt catches Sane on top but she pulls Jax down with a DDT for one. The sliding elbow in the corner looks to set up the Insane Elbow but Jax rolls outside. Sane’s slide is countered and Jax sends her head first into the steps. Back in and the big leg finishes Sane in a hurry. This would be the match where Sane was busted open badly so they did a nice job with the editing there.
Rating: C-. Now stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Nia is laughing off the idea that anyone could beat her and is being all dominant as she heads into a title shot. That feels like the only story that they know how to tell with her and it gets a little tiresome seeing it every single time. That’s the same problem that so many stories have these days and it’s not going away.
We look back at Edge’s comments on Randy Orton last week.
Orton talks about Ric Flair calling him the best to ever lace up a pair of boots. A few weeks ago, Edge talked about Orton not having a passion for wrestling and having everything handed to him. It’s true, and Edge is angry that it took a half effort from Orton to accomplish everything. All he has to do is wake up, lace up his boots and get in the ring. At Backlash, Edge’s storybook ending is being rewritten by the RKO.
Charlotte vs. Asuka
Non-title. Before the match, Charlotte talks about how she wants one of the NXT wrestlers in the crowd to step up and become her next challenger so she can make them bow down. We hear about Asuka’s resume and Charlotte thinks the Empress wants to be the Queen. The threat of the Asuka Lock is broken up early on and Charlotte strikes away. A shot to Asuka’s knee sends us to an early break.
Back with Charlotte staying on the knee, including a kick to said knee to cut off Asuka’s striking. Charlotte charges into a kick to the head though and a German suplex into a Shining Wizard gets two. Joe: “A flying knee each day keeps the coherency away.” Asuka pulls her into the triangle choke, which is reversed into a Boston crab.
Asuka rolls out and grabs a kneebar but Charlotte stands up and grabs her own German suplex. That just means another triangle from Asuka, with Charlotte powerbombing her way to freedom for two more. Charlotte kicks her to the floor….so here’s Nia Jax in Asuka’s mask to Asuka’s music for a distraction and the countout to give Charlotte the win at 9:47.
Rating: B-. I never need to see Charlotte again and I certainly don’t need to see her beat Asuka again. The love for Charlotte around here is sickening at times and this time we even got Nia Jax mocking thrown in to keep up the greatest hits. They were having a good match and I’ll take the countout over a clean fall any day. Just give me a break from Nia and Charlotte. Please.
Lana is asked if Bobby Lashley or MVP came up with the idea of her not being at ringside for Lashley’s matches. She isn’t sure, but she can be ringside for other matches.
MVP vs. Drew McIntyre
Non-title and here is Bobby Lashley to watch. Hold on though as here’s Lana to stand next to a confused Lashley. McIntyre hammers him down in the corner to start and adds a clothesline, followed by the Glasgow Kiss to the floor. Lashley offers a distraction though and MVP sends McIntyre into various things. Back in and a running big boot gives MVP one but McIntyre shrugs it off and hits the top rope shot to the head. Lashley pulls MVP outside so McIntyre dives onto both of them. The Claymore finishes MVP at 2:56. Lana added nothing here.
Post match Lashley grabs the full nelson on McIntyre to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. Man alive I did not care about this show or anything on it. They were doing a bunch of by the book angle advancement and while the wrestling was good, it was a chore to watch and didn’t make me want to see anything on the pay per view. The Edge vs. Orton stuff started off pretty dumb and is now just getting annoying, just like the Rollins vs. Mysterio feud, which seems to be bringing in Dominick for a replacement. Not a good show from a storytelling perspective (though Lashley vs. McIntyre still has me interested) but the wrestling was a bright spot.
Aleister Black b. Seth Rollins – Rollup
Kevin Owens vs. Apollo Crews went to a double DQ when Angel Garza and Andrade interfered
Apollo Crews/Kevin Owens b. Andrade/Angel Garza – Toss Powerbomb to Andrade
Billie Kay b. Nikki Cross – Sitout Rock Bottom
Nia Jax b. Kairi Sane – Legdrop
Charlotte b. Asuka via countout
Drew McIntyre b. MVP – Claymore
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