Monday Night Raw
Date: June 29, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
We’re in uncharted territory here with so many names possibly missing due to the Coronavirus outbreak. So far we have two contract signings for Extreme Rules planned, which certainly sounds like something that could manage to be as uninteresting as Raw can actually be. Let’s get to it.
We open with Bayley and Sasha Banks brawling with Asuka in the ring as Samoa Joe is standing next to the contract table. Referees come out and break it up so Joe can do the introduction. The brawl is on again with Joe begging referees to get them apart. With the women separated, Joe introduces Dolph Ziggler as we’re doing both signings at the same time. Ziggler handles Drew McIntyre’s introduction and we’re finally settled down and ready to go. We’ll start with the men, with Ziggler talking about ending McIntyre’s nineteen year journey as McIntyre looks rather serious. Both of them sign with Drew saying it’s official.
McIntyre calls those serious words from Ziggler and talks about how they used to be family. As family, McIntyre is going to let him pick the stipulation for the title match. Asuka cuts him off by shouting in Japanese and signs her own contract. Banks promises to become Two Belts Banks and stamps her own signature on the contract. The brawl is on with Ziggler trying a superkick but McIntyre pulls it out of the air. The threat of a Claymore sends Ziggler bailing, along with Bayley and Sasha. Book the mixed tag for later.
We look at Angel Garza and Andrade jumping the Street Profits after last week’s Tag Team Title match.
Garza is talking to Jessika Carr when Charly Caruso comes up and doesn’t seem pleased. Zelina Vega makes fun of her and promises that the team is getting some gold. Big Show comes in and says he’s going to the ring next to deal with Randy Orton.
Here’s Big Show in the ring to call out Orton. Instead he gets Andrade, Garza and Vega, who Show calls Smurfette. Show says he isn’t in the mood for this tonight so don’t try him. Garza laughs off the idea that Show is a legend so Show says he has boots older than him. More talking ensues but Show cuts him off and says come fight if he wants to. Vega says Show’s days on Raw are numbered and he can say hi to Edge and Christian in the retirement home.
Cue Ric Flair to say he respects Vega but needs to have a word with his old friend. Flair has been hanging out with Orton while Big Show is making cartoons on Netflix. That’s cool because everyone wants that spot in Hollywood and Show will be in the Hall of Fame, but don’t try Orton. For now though, Garza and Andrade can deal with Show. Cue the Viking Raiders though and the brawl is on to take us to a break.
Viking Raiders vs. Angel Garza/Andrade
Joined in progress with Zelina on commentary and Erik throwing Garza down. Ivar drives Garza into the corner for two and we hit the armbar. Erik slams Ivar onto Garza for two but Andrade uses a distraction to come in with a superkick. It’s Erik in trouble with Garza hitting a hard kick to the head for one as Vega explains the power of fiery Latinos. Erik punches Garza into the corner but Andrade comes in to kick Erick in the face. Andrade stops to yell at Garza….and walks out. Vega tries to calk things down and we take a break.
Back with Andrade on the apron as Garza unloads on Erik in the corner. Erik fights up and runs Andrade over though and the hot tag brings in Ivar to clean house. The handspring elbow is cut off with a dropkick to the back and everything breaks down. The powerbomb/release World’s Strongest Slam combination plants Andrade and Garza but Garza and Ivar fight to the floor. Andrade hits the running knees in the corner on Erik and the Wing Clipper gives Garza the pin at 11:36.
Rating: C. Not too bad here and it’s nice to see some fresh challengers being set up for the Street Profits. They have done the Vikings vs. Profits for so long now that it’s time for someone else. The problem is that there are only so many teams to be able to do anything at the moment. Andrade and Garza are as good as we can get at the moment.
We look back at Natalya beating Liv Morgan last week, followed by Ruby Riott trying to make up with Morgan later on.
The IIconics come up to make fun of Riott, who mentions them losing their Tag Team Title match. A challenge is made for later.
Flair wants to talk to Andrade, Garza and Vega.
24/7 Title: Akira Tozawa vs. R-Truth
Tozawa, with Ninjas, is defending and grabs a quick rollup for two. Hold on though as Tozawa needs to poke finger guns at Truth, who avoids a charge with ease. Back up and Truth leapfrogs him but hurts his knee, only to catch Tozawa in a rollup for the pin and the title at 1:07.
Post match another Ninja rolls Truth up for two, allowing Truth to run off with the title.
We look at Bobby Lashley taking Apollo Crews down with the full nelson last week.
Lashley doesn’t think much of MVP going after Crews, but MVP calms him down by saying Crews’ offer to join us is gone. Now the kid needs to learn something before we get to the complete destruction. The two of them walk past Murphy and Seth Rollins (no Theory) with Rollins holding a Rey Mysterio mask. He needs to deliver his most important message now.
Here are Rollins and Murphy for the message. We see a recap of the issues with Rollins vs. Mysterio/Dominick, including Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black nearly taking out Rollins’ eye last week. Back in the arena, Rollins talks about the duty that Mysterio has to his son. The problem is that Rey hasn’t been, ahem, seeing things clearly. Rollins talks about how he gave Rey a chance to get out with honor but Mysterio refuses to leave. They are bound by fate and as fate would have it, Mysterio is meant to be a sacrifice for the greater good of Raw.
Rollins is going to tear him down piece by piece, but here are Mysterio and Dominick on the screen. Rey says that there will be no forgiveness for Rollins no matter what. Mysterio loves Dominick, but now he has to do something even worse to Rollins. It’s an eye for an eye and it won’t be fate, because it’s going to be by design. Dominick can forgive Rey, but he’ll never forgive Rey, which will be ordained by fate. Rollins: “Oh bravo.” Cue Carrillo and Black and it seems that we have another match being booked on the fly.
Post break, Rollins and Murphy are still on the floor to yell at Carrillo and Black. Carrillo says Rollins will never be the man Mysterio is. Black knows evil when he sees it and promises to make Rollins atone for it. Rollins says this ends now and we’re ready to go.
Humberto Carrillo/Aleister Black vs. Seth Rollins/Murphy
Black kicks away at Murphy to start and scares Rollins off the apron. The distraction lets Murphy kick Black to the floor and Rollins stomps away next to the barricade. Back in and Rollins whips Black hard into the corner, setting up Murphy’s reverse chinlock. Black fights up with a shot to the head and it’s a hot tag to Carrillo, who has to chase Rollins to the floor. That lets Murphy get in a cheap shot but Carrillo enziguris him without much trouble.
A middle rope crossbody connects and Rollins comes back in, only to be sent outside. Another enziguri sets up the missile dropkick to Murphy and Rollins has to save Murphy from the 619. Carrillo hits the big springboard dive to the floor and we take a break. Back with Carrillo getting in a shot to Rollins for a breather. The diving tag brings in Black to beat up Murphy and moonsault onto both of them. Murphy counters Black Mass into a rollup so Black knees him in the face.
Carrillo comes back in for a 619 to Murphy for two with Rollins diving in for the save. Rollins dives onto Black and Murphy hits a running knee for two on Carrillo with Black making a save of his own. The Cheeky Nandos kick hits Carrillo and it’s a powerbomb/jumping knee to the face combination….for two. If you’re going to debut a big spot like that, don’t have it be for a near fall. Black and Murphy head to the floor, leaving Rollins to Stomp Carrillo for the pin at 10:28.
Rating: C+. This was a fast paced match and it’s nice to see Rollins win something for a change. That’s been part of the problem with this rather lacking story: Rollins hasn’t really done anything other than taking out Mysterio. He loses most of his big matches and the promos feel like something that has been done in every indy promotion in the world at one time or another. It’s not horrible, but I can’t find any interest in the whole thing.
Post match the brawl stays on with Carrillo taking the steps to the face, with Rollins putting Mysterio’s mask on him. Black has to save Carrillo’s eye from the steps so Rollins gives Carrillo the Stomp onto the steps instead.
Asuka and Drew McIntyre are ready for their mixed tag tonight. McIntyre dubs her the Empress of Claymore Country and Asuka says Ziggler isn’t ready for Drew.
We look at the tribute to Undertaker from Smackdown, including the legends talking about how great he is. A highlight video is included.
Lana tries to recruit Ruby Riott, who tells her to go ruin another promising career. Lana talks about how great Natalya is and says that’s the kind of leader the women’s division needs. Ruby doesn’t seem convinced.
Peyton Royce vs. Ruby Riott
Billie Kay is here with Peyton and a quick distraction lets Peyton take Riott down by the arm to start. Another Billie distraction sets up the hammerlock on Riott, but she’s back up with some forearms. An STO gets two on Peyton but the third distraction lets Royce grab a rollup for two. Riott gets her own rollup but walks into a fisherman’s neckbreaker for the pin at 3:13.
Rating: D+. There isn’t much you can get out of this but the IIconics are a rather solid midcard act. I’m not sure why Riott needs to lose so much, but if there is one thing WWE likes to do, it is have people lose a lot and then expect us to care about them. If they can do it with Riott and Morgan at the same time, that’s even better.
Big Show talks about growing up in South Carolina where Ric Flair was the most important man in the world. Now Flair is mentoring Randy Orton, so Orton has to be the most dangerous man in wrestling. Show is ready to take care of Andrade and Garza tonight.
We look back at the opening segment.
Big Show vs. Andrade/Angel Garza
Andrade and Garza bail to the floor and agree to get back inside together. It’s Andrade who stays on the floor, leaving Garza to chop the heck out of Garza. That’s enough to send Garza outside, where Andrade tells him to get back in there. Garza tags Andrade in so he can fail at a waistlock attempt on Show. A slam puts Andrade down and Show steps on his ribs.
It’s back to Garza, who gets chopped in the corner again before kicking away at the knee. The low superkick doesn’t quite keep Show down so Garza stomps away even more. Andrade comes in and argues with Garza, who decides to walk out this time. Vega can’t keep the peace and it’s a chokeslam to finish Andrade at 5:35.
Rating: D+. This was pretty much every Big Show handicap match you would care to see as he threw the two of them around, they got in a little something, and then he hit a chokeslam for the win. I know Show is an old, dependable star, but he isn’t exactly doing anything new when he’s out there, and it can get a little repetitive at times. Like it was here for example.
Post match gives Andrade the KO Punch.
R-Truth has escaped the Ninjas and runs into Cedric Alexander, Apollo Crews and Ricochet. Truth thinks Alexander may be a Ninja, but his favorite superhero, Richard O Shea will take care of things. For now though, Truth has an idea.
Here are MVP and Bobby Lashley for MVP’s match, but first MVP talks about how no one can be him. However, he’s a legend and wants to give back. That’s what he was trying to do with Crews, who just disrespected him. That isn’t going to stand, but here’s Crews to interrupt. Crews doesn’t want to hear about disrespect because MVP wouldn’t listen to Crews say no in the first place. Ring the bell.
MVP vs. Apollo Crews
Non-title with Crews starting fast by snapping off a hurricanrana. MVP is sent to the floor for the big flip dive onto Lashley, allowing MVP to send Crews into the steps. Back from a break with MVP hitting a big boot and putting on a dragon sleeper. There’s a knee drop for two but Crews fights up and hits a Stinger Splash in the corner. A spinebuster gets two on MVP but Lashley offers a distraction so MVP can crotch Crews on top. MVP hits a running big boot and grabs a fisherman’s suplex for the pin at 6:32.
Rating: C-. MVP has shown to be very valuable as a talker for Lashley though I’m not entirely sold on him as a wrestler at this point. It’s ok to have him win over Crews thanks to the interference, and it’s not like this is setting up anything more than Lashley getting a title shot at Extreme Rules anyway.
Post match Lashley puts on the full nelson until Ricochet and Cedric Alexander come in for the save.
Ricochet vs. Bobby Lashley
Joined in progress again as we now have four out of seven matches being made during the show. Lashley throws him around to start and drops Ricochet with a release suplex. Ricochet tries to fight up but gets caught in the spinning Big Ending for two. Lashley throws him outside and then tosses him around even more, followed by a ram into the post. The count is broken up at nine even though Ricochet is mostly dead. Lashley sets for the spear but Ricochet collapses.
Ricochet slips out of the full nelson and sends Lashley to the floor. Lashley gets him in a fireman’s carry, only to have Ricochet slip out and post him. MVP sends Lashley back inside where Ricochet hits a Lionsault for two. Cedric Alexander takes out MVP and Ricochet hits some kicks to the head. A big kick is countered into a powerbomb though and the full nelson finishes Ricochet at 6:35.
Rating: C. This started off as a squash and turned into a nice David vs. Goliath match by the end. Lashley wasn’t going to lose to anyone here, let alone Ricochet, so the ending wasn’t exactly in doubt. At least they got Ricochet and Alexander on the card though and that’s a good thing after so many weeks away.
Post match, Lashley full nelsons Alexander as well.
Bayley and Sasha Banks tell Ziggler not to screw this up for them.
We look at the contract signings again.
Drew McIntyre/Asuka vs. Sasha Banks/Dolph Ziggler
Bayley sits in on commentary as the guys start. McIntyre powers him around early on and chops away in the corner as Asuka is very pleased. A quick Fameasser doesn’t even give Ziggler one and it’s off to the women (Bayley: “MAIN EVENT TIME!”). Asuka shoves her around to start but Sasha avoids a charge. That means the threat of the Asuka Lock but the guys come in, allowing Banks to slip out. A spinning elbow to the face drops Banks to the floor though and we take a break.
Back with Ziggler rolling him up for two and hitting the delayed DDT. For some reason Ziggler tags Banks in and Asuka gets to come in as McIntyre is still banged up. Asuka hits a running knee to the face for two on Banks but Bayley offers a distraction. That lets Banks hit a Meteora off the apron (though she seemed to overshoot it) to knock Asuka silly. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Banks hits the double knees in the corner for two more.
Asuka gets in some knees of her own and it’s a double tag to bring the men back in. McIntyre hits the top rope shot to Ziggler’s head but Banks tags herself in. Banks yells at McIntyre, who punches Ziggler off the apron as the yelling ensues. Asuka comes in to kick Banks in the head for two but Banks reverses into a rollup for two. The Bank Statement is countered into the Asuka Lock but Banks flips back onto her for the pin at 14:04.
Rating: C. Just a main event tag match here and they did a good job of making Sasha feel like more of a threat. It’s better to go there than having McIntyre take a fall as they’ve done a great job of making him seem like the most important person on the show. This was one where you could probably guess how the match was going to go and that’s not a bad thing.
Overall Rating: C-. This show started fast and then just died starting with the Rollins segment. It wasn’t the worst show but it went from a hot show to a show focusing on people like Big Show, Andrade, Garza and Ziggler. There was a lot of stuff on here that really didn’t work, and with more than half of the matches being made throughout the night, it felt like they were scrambling to fill three hours. I can get the issues they were dealing with here, but this felt every second of the three hours and that’s not a good thing.
Andrade/Angel Garza b. Viking Raiders – Wing Clipper to Garza
R-Truth b. Akira Tozawa – Rollup
Seth Rollins/Murphy b. Aleister Black/Humberto Carrillo – Stomp to Carrillo
Peyton Royce b. Ruby Riott – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Big Show b. Andrade/Angel Garza – Chokeslam to Andrade
MVP b. Apollo Crews – Fisherman’s suplex
Bobby Lashley b. Ricochet – Full nelson
Sasha Banks/Dolph Ziggler b. Asuka/Drew McIntyre – Rollup to Asuka
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