— Triple H (@TripleH) June 30, 2014
Well, that tweet is interesting…
Who is it tonight? Brock Lesnar? The Undertaker? Hulk Hogan? “Honest” Abe Lincoln? Who is the former World Champion to return tonight? Wonder if he can sing and dance, or possibly host his own failed SyFy Channel show?
We start the show with our 15-Time World Champion, John Cena and The Authority. They unveil Cena on the cover of WWE2K15. Great. Then comes the offer from The Game regarding how Cena will fall into line. Obviously, Cena choose the hard way, and the COO is all too happy to oblige. John Cena defends his new championship in a Fatal-Four Way at Battleground. His opponents will be his opponents tonight, Randy Orton and Kane, along with his tag-partner Roman Reigns. But wait, there’s more! Should Cena come out of that match retaining the title, there is always “Plan B.” Cue the loud and blasting music of Seth Rollins, and out he comes for his one-on-one match.
Alright, so we did not get the obligatory Cena gloat-fest, but still, reminding us all he is now a 15-time titleholder is painful to hear. We are back to the routine roster of main eventers and back to boredomville. It is great Seth Rollins is our Mr. Money in the Bank, so once the inevitable cycle of Cena vs. Orton, Cena vs. Kane, Rollins can shake it up again. WWE was doing so well with the fresher talent as champions, but obviously the injuries and sudden quitting put a hamper on that, but they could have went with someone else to win the WWE Championship last night at Money in the Bank. Ah well, moving on.
Seth Rollins defeated Ron Van Dam in a surprisingly good match. Started off slow, RVD doing his usual shtick until an amazing counter mid-match, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. RVD went for his Five Star Frog Splash, however Rollins bailed from the ring, but RVD splashed him anyway. Unfortunately, it only led to his defeat as Rollins outsmarted him and cracked his head with the Curb Stomp for victory. His post-match celebration was interrupted by the resident self-dubbed “scumbag” as Dean Ambrose promised to be there to thwart any attempt to cash in the Money in the Bank contract.
The segment starts out the amazingly hot Lana comes out and makes fun of America, pointing out how we award our kids for simply participating rather than achieving. Damn true. Their little tirade is interrupted by… Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. I kid you not. They come out and Colter points out how they are able to say what they want because they take advantage of our American right of Free Speech, something which their beloved Russia does not allow. Lana pouts as Colter then states be believes a Real American like Jack Swagger can stop Alexander Rusev. Lana tries to get Rusev out, but he moves to fight and Swagger sends him retreating.
“LET’S GO SWAGGER!” Did you ever think that chant would echo ever again? Okay, I am not nuts. Lana’s skirt gets shorter, and her heels get higher. How the hell does she walk? I really hope this is not the beginning of Swagger’s final burial. He is an amazing amateur talent, he has to be pushed enough to be believable as an opponent. Best moments of the segment, as Colter asks the crowd to rise for the We the People shout, you can see the ENTIRE arena stand up. He also questions whether Lana is her real name. Brilliant.
For the first time in a few weeks, RAW has been entertaining for an entire hour. The action rolls on as we watch United States Champion Sheamus partner up with the WWE Tag Team Champions, the Usos to face off against all three members of the Wyatt Family. The stage cameraman is getting a payday bonus as the Wyatts walk out, he pans the crowd and you can see every phone lit up and swaying. This six-man match was awesome. Sheamus did most of the high-flying early on, splashing down on top of the family off the top rope. Sheamus wound up eating a Brough-like kick from Luke Harper which turned the match around. I love Harper. Also creepy, but his ring presence is uncanny. For a big man, his versatility is incredible, adapting to whomever he is in the ring with. Harper gets the pinfall win after all hell breaks loose, Sheamus Brough Kicked Rowan, Wyatt dodged a Uso superkick as Harper then struck with his rushing clotheline. Very nice finish.
For some odd reason, JBL chants rang out. Didn’t think the match got boring at all. Guess the live crowd thought differently.
Backstage, Nikki Bella is interviewed for all of ten seconds as Stephanie informs her she has a handicap match against the Funkadactyls. Sigh…
Bo Dallas comes out, and asks for 60-seconds of silence for Bad News Barrett and Daniel Bryan as they are unable to compete due to injury. The silent treatment went noticeably longer than 60 seconds. JBL is trying to be serious, while Jerry Lawler feels he can’t Bo-Lieve but rather thinks Dallas is actually Bo-ring. Dallas then brings up being disrespected by Bryan last night after trying to get him to Bo-Lieve, is then asked, Bo… LEAVE! Well, his segment is interrupted by the entrance of Nikki Bella for her handicap match against Cameron and Naomi. The match lasts all of three minutes as Nikki is handed defeat. Cameron and Naomi suddenly argue which leads to the split we all thought happened a month ago. Yawn.
The WWE Universe gets some bad news, as Wade Barrett will be out of action due to a severe shoulder injury and therefore the Intercontinental Championship is now vacant. A new champion will be crowned at WWE Battleground. Yes, I am pissed. Someone who is not, is Paul Heyman who struts out to remind everyone how he is “the one” behind the “twenty-one-and-one” Brock Lesnar and is also “the one” behind “the one who won” the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and therefore will be “the one” to win the vacant title, a man who is “Battle Royalty,” the one and only Cesaro! Did I mention Paul Heyman is a genius? Yes, he is. He is the Rabbi of Wrestling. Cesaro suplexes and overpowers Kofi Kingston. So, in what I believe to be a first, the match ENDED DURING COMMERICAL. So, if you were watching exclusively on the WWE App, then you saw how Kofi rolled up Cesaro for the surprise win. Post-match, Cesaro beat the hell out of Kingston, and inadvertently tossed him into Michael Cole. Ouch. The beatdown lasted longer than the match itself.
I liked how they cut to commercial just as some very loud CM Punk chants broke out. Post-match, Michael Cole looked a bit ticked off, but rolled with it, putting over Cesaro.
We suddenly hear the “No Chance in Hell” theme hit, and out comes Vince McMahon! Except it is not Vince McMahon! It’s Vince McMahondow! The segment just became legendary. Sandow, in perfect McMahonism talks about making great stars, including the future Intercontinental Champion, Damien Sandow. The awesome segment is interrupted by Stephanie who is peeved beyond belief. She then puts him immediately in a match against a returning superstar who will also be in the Battleground Battle Royal… The Great Khali. One chop later, and the Punjabi Disaster wins. Booo! Boo I say!
We finally learn who the big return is, and it is The Miz! He comes out and plugs his role in The Marine 4, and then proceeds to do a lame Hollywood gimmick, however he has returned to prove how the WWE Universe is all a bunch of fools and he is out to prove he is back main eventing WrestleMania. He overly does the “I’m better than you” routine, which means he is not really the big return we’ve been waiting for. Moments later, the lights go out, and CHRIS JERICHO breaks the walls down. However, Miz reminds us all how it might be 2012 again where he will come back, wrestle for a month and then vanish off again. Y2J answers by knocking Miz senseless. Jericho ramps up the crowd, but is interrupted by the lights going out, a familiar creepy tone sounds, and back in the ring, Jericho is surrounded by the Buzzards and subsequently falls victim to the Wyatt Family. What a segment.
Best part, the crowd chanting “This is Awesome” before the Wyatt beat-down even started.
Recap from last night, how Layla defeated Summer Rae, who then cried like a baby as she watched Layla smooch with Fandango. Who cares. No one, as the theme for Dolph Ziggler hits and the crowd erupts. Decent match, Summer Rae comes out to smooch with Ziggles, distracting Fandango, allowing the Show Off to nail him with the Zig Zag for the win. Meh.
Recap of Vickie dumping Stephanie into the pool of mud/poop/pudding.
In the “we really have nothing else for these four guys to do” match, Ryback and Curtis Axel face-off with The Dusts for the twelfth time. I am not making this up. Axel ditched the weird spandex from last night. Loud “Goldberg” chants in this one. For the second night in a row, Ryback charges up for the Meathook lariat as the crowd gives the “Feed Me More” line again. Once again, Cody “Stardust” Rhodes hits yet another finishing move to claim victory.
Tonight should have been called Night of Returns as Paige’s blathering is interrupted by the returning AJ Lee! Ironically, the live crowd chants for CM Punk. Paige makes a rookie mistake by allowing the chants for Punk to derail her promo. AJ plays the face and challenges for the Divas Title. Well, AJ defeats her to reclaim the Divas Championship. Good bye Paige?
Triple H is out for the main event. Kane is clearly playing as bodyguard for Randy Orton, who runs away from confronting Roman Reigns. Interesting how indirectly, all three ex-Shield members are potential for main event championship matches. Reigns is headlining a pay-per-view, and should Seth Rollins cash in sometime soon, and becomes champion, Dean Ambrose will easily be a formidable challenger. The match broke down into a brawl, with Orton and Reigns fighting to the back, while Kane and Cena get counted out or DQ’d. Kane spikes Cena with the Tombstone Piledriver as a happy Triple H looks on. Refs check on Cena and it seems he is out cold. Triple H motions his hand, and out comes Seth Rollins to cash in. However, the ref questions the cash-in. Triple H, Kane, and Ref go to the outside, leaving Rollins wide open for Dean Ambrose to make good on his promise to stop Rollins. They fight through the crowd as Reigns returns to spear Kane and have a staredown with Triple H.
Crowd loves it, and I imagine we may see Reigns vs. Triple H at some point in the future. Not a great match, but a solid way to conclude RAW. Every segment was cohesive and flowed right into the next one. Nothing was left hanging, and the appropriate teases have been made for next week.
Jericho now has beef with The Wyatts, Dean Ambrose stops Seth Rollins from cashing in, AJ Lee recaptures the Divas Title, while Bad News Barrett drops his, with a new champion to be crowned in a Battle Royal at Battleground.