Couple bits of bad news to begin tonight’s RAW rundown. Erick Rowan suffered an injury at a house show over the weekend, it is unclear how much time he will miss. Sadly, no one really noticed, since he has not been on TV much lately. Very sad news to report the passing of “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell. A known wrestler and champion in the old school territories, he came to the WWF with big plans, which were sadly cut short by a big injury. Although no longer an active wrestler, he continued to work in various promotions in the mid-west. Current reports stated he was in a car accident over the weekend, and passed away earlier today.
We start the show with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, apologizing for his brutality leading to his “suspension” three months ago. He shakes JBL’s hand, and then gives Michael Cole a noogie. Heyman then does his usual verbal magic, promising come Battleground, Brock will once again be WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Nice opening segment, putting over Seth Rollins for his cunning yet cowardly move. Heyman is great as always.
We also learned earlier tonight, as anyone could have predicted, Big Show, Ryback, and The Miz will be involved in a Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground. Miz, meet fist.
Dean Ambrose goes up against Kane. Past week or so we have seen Ambrose attempting to reignite the fire which once burned, although in his own manner, by belittling the corporate crony. Thanks to a run-in by Seth Rollins, the corporate lackey lobs Ambrose off the top turnbuckle with a chokeslam to victory. No, this is not Rollins and Ambrose continuing their feud, but Rollins trying to get some backup against Lesnar. Interesting way about doing it. Should Rollins get some backup, it would be a feasible way to keep the title on him via DQ or interference. Although backstage, it would seem Kane is not buying it.
The Prime Time Players are out for their match. I love these guys. To think, when they first paired up, the gimmick annoyed the crap out of me. I felt they were too scripted, but now with Darren Young and Titus O’Neil free to express their comedic sides, they have become way more entertaining.
Speaking of Titus, he was awarded the Celebrity Dad of the Year by EverythingforDads.com. He does a lot of charity work and Make-A-Wish appearances.
Tonight, they have a short back-and-forth with The Ascension, and Darren Young takes the win with his gutbuster.
Their match ends and Sheamus hits the ring right away. Crunch for time much? Sheamus and Roman Reigns have their brawl end with a no-contest as Bray Wyatt is on the Titantron, appearing to have a “Tea Party” however revealed to be an empty chair. Reigns runs backstage before said reveal, and winds up finding a dark room with a recording of Bray singing “I’m a little teapot…” and photos of Reigns all over the wall with the words “Anyone but you.”
Adrian Neville comes out, and two things are really beginning to piss me off. One, if he is “The Man Who Gravity Forgot” then he does not need to also be called the “New Sensation.” I feel like it is a tagline from the early-to-mid-nineties. Secondly, we get it. Set your DVRs. How many goddamn time do both JBL and Michael Cole need to say it over and over. His opponent, Kofi Kingston is accompanied by his New Day cohorts, however, Neville is joined by the Prime Time Players. In a twist, the PTP are ejected from ringside, but so are Xavier Woods and Big E. Langston shortly after. Neville gets the win via Red Arrow.
In a shocking turn of events, King Barrett gets a win. Sadly, it is against Zack Ryder. So it means nothing. What was funny, pre-match promo by R-Truth, or King Waz Up, proclaiming himself ruler with his might Plunger-scepter. I love it.
Announcement is made, there will be a July 4th, WWE Network special airing from Tokyo, Japan. Both NXT and main roster wrestlers will be featured, including a main event for the NXT Championship between Finn Balor and Kevin Owens. Wow.
Speaking of whom, John Cena is in the ring, hyping up his inevitable clash with Owens. He inevitably interrupts Cena’s promo, taunting back and forth, and after some words in various languages, we get the official challenge accepted and we have a United States Championship match set for Battleground.
Backstage: Triple H psyched out Rollins, telling him to be smart and be scared of Brock, and get his backup by apologizing to everyone he wronged, otherwise he might as well kiss the title goodbye.
In a confusing, but not at all surprising contest, The Bellas defeat Naomi and Tamina, when the whole lot of them botch up the finish in the sloppiest way imaginable. I do not understand who are faces, heels, Divas, managers, valets… I have no words for this.
I still have no words as I watch a WWE-homemade promo comparing Roman Reigns to The Terminator.
Still nothing as we watch Mark Henry job to Ryback. How does Ryback win? Not by way of Shellshock, but after a Frog Splash off the top rope, which looked more like a belly flop. Not sure who to feel sorry for. The live crowd, or Mark Henry who is jobbing to everyone. Big Show on commentary. After the match was over, Ryback gets a backstage interview interrupted by Show, they brawl, and ends with Ryback gaining the upper hand over Show. Yes, this time the babyface leaves the heel laid out. Is it just me, or are the old guys like Kane, Show, Henry all being treated second rate? Maybe they will form a “one last run” stable.
In our final match of the evening, Dolph Ziggler gets a win over Adam Rose. Good short match. Sadly, neither of these guys are going anywhere. They work for the crowd though. Post match, Ziggler smooches with Lana, and Rusev is backstage, because what else do they have for him to do, other than to throw temper tantrums each week. This week Summer Rae sympathetically gives him his crutch back.
Our main event, is Seth Rollins and The Authority.
Seth offers to apologize to J&J Security and Kane. However, he begins by stating “this has nothing to do with Brock Lesnar” even though Triple H just had a pep talk with all parties about being behind their “investment” when he faces Lesnar at Battleground. Sheesh. As he tries to apologize, the crowd chants “you sold out” and “Justin Bieber” over and over. He over-compliments the trio. As Seth pleads for forgiveness, Brock Lesnar interrupts and hits the ring, while Kane, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury bail out on Rollins, who then eats five German suplexes… but it’s a fake! They come back and together they manage to overwhelm Lesnar. Kane splatters him with a chokeslam. At the end, Rollins is standing tall while Heyman appears ready to hurl all over the arena floor.
Interesting way to end RAW, and to usher in Brock’s return. While the Authority reuniting seemed to be an easy prediction, the sight of Rollins being suplexed all over was welcomed, however seeing Brock laid out at the show’s conclusion was certainly unexpected.