The land of WWE has changed again after last night’s Elimination Chamber; we have a new champion and an almost-new champion! I will not spoil for those who are waiting to read this report and did not watch the show, however, let’s just say the build up to Money In The Bank is already intriguing, and one match has already been made for that Pay-Per-View on June 14th!
For tonight, let’s see what goes down in the “heart of Texas,” as Raw emanates from Hall Of Famer Shawn Michaels’ hometown of San Antonio!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for June 1st, 2015 – “Four-For-One”
Introduction Segment: Picture Recap
Still photos of the main-event from Elimination Chamber, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, is shown.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The entire Authority walk to the ring, none of them with a smile on their face despite the fact that Seth Rollins is still the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Stephanie McMahon berates Dean Ambrose, who stole the championship last night and “assaulted” someone last week. Triple H says they have given Ambrose until the beginning of Raw, which is right now, so they are demanding he return Seth’s title.
Unfortunately for The Authority, it is not Dean they get, but his long-time friend Roman Reigns who answers. After parading through the fans, he says that Dean is not in attendance tonight, but informs them that Ambrose wants another bout at Money In The Bank, this time in a Ladder Match so there is no debate over who wins.
Roman argues that Ambrose did actually beat Seth at Elimination Chamber, which makes Rollins irate and he accepts. Rollins goes further, saying that he doesn’t need any of The Authority, and can beat Dean on his own. Seth storms to the back, leaving Roman playing it cool. Stephanie demands him to “wipe that smirk off his face,” then Triple H gets in Reigns’ face to tell him he has to wrestle someone to qualify for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match; that will happen next!
Match #1: Single
Barrett tries a quick roll-up but only gets one, then begins to wear him down with a standing side-headlock. Reigns reverses into one of his own, but is shoved into the corner. Wade bounces Roman’s head off the turnbuckle, butt Reigns counters with a big kick and then a clothesline in the corner. Barrett tosses Reigns to the apron, but Roman hits a few hard kicks, then attempts the running front-dropkick but Bad News moves. Reigns clotheslines Barrett to the floor instead, then whips him into the steps, but Barrett hops them and kicks the stairs into Reigns’ knee. He then slams him into the steps for a break.
Wade is still in control, grounding Roman with a headlock. Roman tries to battle back, but misses a splash in the corner, allowing Barrett to pound away on his back and run at him with a kick. Reigns fights out of another headlock and punches away, then plunges him to the canvas with a Samoan Drop. He builds lots of momentum with punches and a flying forearm, but is caught with the Winds Of Change slam off the ropes! 1 – 2 – Roman kicks out!
“The King” gears up for a Bullhammer, but Reigns rolls him up for a near-fall and gives Barrett a one-handed powerbomb for a close-call! Barrett uses the ropes to scratch the eyes of Roman and swings for another Bullhammer, but Reigns moves and counters with a Spear for the victory!
Winner and Qualifying for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Roman Reigns
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Triple H and Stephanie “congratulate” Roman on defeating Barrett, but put him through another bout to qualify, telling him he now has to face Mark Henry.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Byron Saxton interviews Nikki Bella, who is still the Divas Champion. She is happy-as-a-clam to be the champ and in the division. Paige walks in and feels she deserves a title match, so Nikki agrees and will give her the chance tonight!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Lillian Garcia asks us to welcome the new Intercontinental Champion, Ryback. He puts over the fans for standing behind him when he returned from injury and is proud to be the IC Champ. “When it comes to the competition, when it comes to the challengers, you know what I say…” (he holds the mike up for the crowd to chant “feed me more.”) Up next, Ryback will defend his newly-won title against The Miz!
Match #2: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – Ryback (Champion) VS. The Miz (Challenger)
Right after formal introductions, The Big Show’s music plays and the 7-footer walks out. He stares-down Ryback and signals for a Knockout Punch, but turns around and hits The Miz! He takes the microphone and challenges Ryback to take him on. “You call yourself ‘The Big Guy,’ you ain’t got nothin’ on The Big Show.” He backs away as Ryback is pumped up for his new opponent.
Winner: No Contest due to No Official Start/Interruption
It is announced that Paige facing Nikki for the Divas Title is official for tonight. Up next, NXT Champion Kevin Owens, who defeated John Cena at Elimination Chamber, will be out.
Segment #6: Arena Promo
“When I say ‘I’m going to do something,’ I deliver. When I got to NXT and said I was going to win the NXT Title, I delivered. When I said I was going to take out Sami Zayn, I delivered. And when I said I was going to leave John Cena laying in the middle of the ring, I delivered.” Kevin says he should be pleased, but he isn’t because his son was more concerned about John Cena than the big win his father had last night.
Owens rips Cena for all the catchy one-liners and merchandise. He says that his is what really made John the “superhero” while Owens was going around the globe “honing my craft.” Owens wanted to be that “hero” to his son, but couldn’t because he wasn’t on TV all the time. “Last night, I beat ‘Super Cena!’ So tonight, as I stand before you, those ridiculous words ‘Hustle, Loyalty, Respect’ and ‘Never Give Up’ are being uttered by a broken, empty-shell of a man.” Kevin tells us that a “real role model” is not about sayings or t-shirts, but says a “real role model” backs up their statements with actions.
Cena answers, joining him in the ring. He tells Owens that he should be acting like he’s done it before, not like it is his first match. Cena says Owens already has what he wants, as “the entire world is talking about Kevin Owens.” The fans start to chant “you got beat” to Cena, which Cena acknowledges as correct.
John tells Owens he was going to shake hands until his talk tonight. “It’s because you’re so concerned with being a ‘real role model’ when you’re not even a ‘real man.’ A ‘real man’ throws jealousy aside; a ‘real man’ doesn’t judge by the color of their t-shirt, physical appearance, or how they choose to live their life. Do you want to why your son feels the way he feels? According to you, it is the ‘WWE Marketing-Machine.’ If that were the case, your son would have an Adam Rose T-Shirt, he will still love The Funk-A-Saurus, and want to grow up to play in the X.F.L. Your son feels the way he feels because like the person holding that sign right there, or the young person in the second row on his father’s shoulder, or the young person right there with a ‘You Can’t See Me’ hat and a sign that says ‘I am beating cancer,’ they feel the way they feel because they believe, and they believe because they see me each and every week on this stage deliver. And those ‘corporate slogans’ and ‘catchphrases’ you talk about, they weren’t puked up by a bunch of ‘suits’ at a boardroom table. Over 10 years, they define who I am and how I choose to live my life, both in this ring and outside of it. And I take nothing away from what you have done, but over the past decade, it is blatantly obvious that my undying passion to both the WWE, and most importantly, the people that fill the seats every single week; is so obvious, that whether your six or sixty-nine, whether I win or whether I lose, whether you chant ‘let’s go Cena’ or ‘Cena sucks,’ if I say or if I wear the words ‘Never Give Up,’ not only am I telling the truth, but I am encouraging young and old, all alike, like that person right there (child with cancer) to do THE EXACT SAME THING! And by the way, you keep fighting and you never give up, you understand that? And that’s from me. Three words, you would be amazed Mr. Owens at how those three words can affect people’s lives. It would be like working day-in-and-day-out for a decade trying for an opportunity, being told time after time you’re never gonna make it, but still scratching and clawing, and finally the day comes when opportunity knocks and you don’t just answer the door, you kick it down, you raise your hand, and you say ‘THE CHAMP IS HERE.’ And that is exactly what happened to you last night, Kevin Owens. For you see, the three words that define the life journey of Kevin Owens are not ‘fight Owens fight,’ and this one is going to be a thought one to swallow holmes, because the three words that define Kevin Owens are ‘never give up.’ A bit of advice ‘man’ to ‘almost-man:’ think before you speak, because you said you could deliver on every promise, but in two weeks, at Money In The Bank, you are going to have to explain how a real good wrestler got his ass kicked by a real man!” Owens walks off and leaves Cena glaring.
Match #3: Single – Tag-Team Champion Kofi Kingston (with Tag-Team Champion/New Day partners Xavier Woods and Big E.) VS. “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana) (Non-Title)
Prior to the bout, The New Day talk about being jovial and still being Tag-Team Champions, as well as Kofi being able to become “Mr. Money In The Bank.”
They lockup to start then Dolph rolls back Kofi, and the two trade waistlocks. Kofi leaps over Dolph a couple times, but gets hit with a smacking dropkick. Ziggler jawbreaks out of a headlock. Kofi makes a comeback until Dolph jump-DDTs him for a very-near-fall! Xavier distracts Ziggler, which gives Kingston the chance to roll him up, but he only gets two as Dolph reverses it and holds on to the tights for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Post-match, all three New Day members beat down Dolph until The Prime Time Players run out for the save.
We are now in a Six-Man Tag-Team action!
Match #4: Six-Man Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E.) VS. “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler and The Prime Time Players (“Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young and “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil) (Non-Title)
New Day controls a good part of this contest until Young moves, sending Big E. shoulder-first into the post. Darren makes the hot-tag to Titus, who cleans house on the New Day! O’Neil drives Xavier to the canvas with a Pump-Handle Over-The-Shoulder-Slam to finish this one!
Up next, Roman will take on Henry.
Match #5: Single – Roman Reigns VS. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
Both slug it out, then Roman picks up Henry, but “The World’s Strongest Man” falls on him for a two-count! Henry starts to work over Reigns, punching and kicking him. Roman fires back with repeated clotheslines in the corner and a leaping forearm, then manages to give him a Samoan Drop! Mark falls to the outside, but shoves Reigns into the ring post, however Roman soars back with the Superman Punch! Reigns crawls back into the ring just as the referee counts to 10!
Winner via Count-Out and Qualifying for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Roman Reigns
Post-match, as Reigns is cooling himself off with a water bottle, Henry drives him to the mat with a World’s Strongest Slam.
Later tonight, Randy Orton and Sheamus, who are also in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match, will go against each other!
Segment #7: Backstage Segment
Roman Reigns is walking off his soreness when Steph and Trips greet him again. Once again, he will be having to put his M.I.T.B. Ladder Match spot on the line, as they book him against “The Eater Of Worlds,” Bray Wyatt!
Segment #8: Video Promo
Footage of a bunch of Superstars promoting Sonic Shakes is aired, which include Tag-Team Champions The New Day, The Big Show, and The Mega Powers.
Paige makes her entrance prior to the break for her Divas Championship match!
Match #6: Single for the Divas Championship – Paige (Challenger) VS. Nikki Bella (Champion)
An elbow/collar tie-up begins this contest, then Nikki drops Paige with a fireman’s carry takedown and armlock, followed by a belly-to-belly suplex. She carries her into the corner and rams her shoulder into Paige’s gut a few times, then suplexes her. She clamps on a rear chinlock, then springboard-suplexes her for a two-count! Nikki traps Paige in a leglock, but Paige reaches the ropes to break.
Paige kicks hard to counter and crawls for Nikki, but The Champ goes to the floor. Nikki kicks back and tries an Alabama Slam, but Paige sunset-flips and knees Nikki for two! Nikki kicks Paige then Alabama-Slams her to the mat! 1 – 2 – Paige gets her shoulder up!
Paige counters again with a hard punch and kick, then hits out of a Rack Attack attempt! Nikki blocks out of the corner, but Paige runs again and drives her down with a modified-DDT! Nikki rolls out of the ring and switches with Brie, who was under the ring! The other Bella goes back in and inside-cradles Paige to finish this!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL Divas Champion: Nikki Bella
Recap of Henry/Reigns is shown, then Randy Orton makes his return!
Match #7: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton VS. “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
Both stare each other down then lock up, and trade wristlocks and headlocks. Sheamus rolls to the outside for a break then they go back-and-forth for a bit. The two go to the outside and brawl, with Orton backdropping Sheamus on top of the commentator’s table. He clotheslines Sheamus down and mouths off in the ring.
Sheamus now has Randy in trouble with a grounding rear chinlock, then drives him down with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam! Orton breaks out of another grounding chinlock with another backdrop, but is hit in his gut by Sheamus’ shoulder. Orton manages a comeback, planting Sheamus with the slingshot-DDT! He attempts the RKO but is shoved off and kneed! Orton falls to the outside, where they both fight again. Sheamus is tossed over the barricade, but hits back with a chair for the DQ loss.
Winner via Disqualification: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Post-match, Sheamus continues to attack Orton around the ring until four referees put a stop to him. He answers one more time with a second Brogue Kick.
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Byron Saxton is with Rusev, who is currently out of action with a broken ankle. Saxton asks Rusev about the recent turmoil in his life. Rusev says he is a “broken man” all-around, but vows to get all back.
It is announced that Kevin Owens will put his NXT Title on the line this week on Smackdown in “Kevin Owens’ NXT Championship Open Challenge.”
Match #8: Single – “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas VS. “The Man That Gravity Forgot,” “The New Sensation” Neville
Dallas dominates most of this bout until Neville hits back with multiple kick, putting Bo to the mat. Neville follows up with the Red Arrow Twisting-Splash to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Man That Gravity Forgot,” “The New Sensation” Neville
Up next, Roman Reigns’ final chance to stay in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match as he squares off against Bray Wyatt!
Match #9: Single – Roman Reigns VS. Bray Wyatt
Reigns immediately delivers quick punches to Wyatt and works him over to start out. As this bout goes on, The Authority minus Triple H and Stephanie walk to the stage. Bray capitalizes on the mini-distraction, launching himself at Roman with a crossbody. On the outside, Wyatt stalks Reigns and hits him with a hard-clothesline!
Wyatt is still in control, DDTing Reigns on the ring apron then splashing him in the corner. He goes for a second, but Reigns counters with a rocketing-clothesline! He chucks Bray into the post and DDTs him. He gives Bray repeated clotheslines in the corner, then the running front-dropkick on the outside! Wyatt comes back with a clothesline and senton-splash. 1 – 2 – Reigns gets his shoulder up! They slap each other, then Reigns catches Bray with a Samoan Drop! He goes for the Superman Punch, but Bray Chokeslams him to counter! 1 – 2 – Reigns lifts his shoulder again! Wyatt attempts to grab Roman but he is countered into a roll-up and The Superman Punch!
The Authority march to the ring and Kane tries to distract Reigns but is taken to the floor after Roman shoved Bray out of a Sister Abigail! Reigns Spears Bray for the victory!
Winner and Officially Qualifying for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Roman Reigns
Post-match, The Authority start another beat-down until “WWE World Heavyweight Champion” Dean Ambrose appears on the announce table to make the save! He helps Roman run off The Authority, the two escape through the crowd with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in tow, as The Authority glare to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a great Raw, both coming off a “big” show and building to another one. I really enjoyed the amount of wrestling, and quality in the matches! There were a couple major plot-holes, but in general, the storytelling was also in good-standing! Onto the analysis:
Excellence: all the matches had some great wrestling, but particular kudos goes to all three of Reigns’, the Divas, and the Six-Man.
Loving the feud between Rollins/Ambrose/Reigns. As my Dad thought earlier, this could easily end up being a Triple-Threat at SummerSlam for the title and that would be totally cool! As well, I think Roman is finding his personality now, being the new “Big Daddy Cool” for this generation. He plays it well and has the perfect look/expressions for it.
Fantastic promo between Owens and Cena; really loving this rivalry with the passion both men have, and Owens absolutely carries himself like a main-event man already!
Bogus: the returns of Orton and Wyatt; for both who have not been on TV for a while, theirs literately came out of nowhere and had no back story or build.
If Rollins claimed he had no use for The Authority, then why was he sticking by them and using them through the end of the night?
All-in-all, this was a pretty superb and action-packed Raw. I’m looking forward to next week, as it will be the “go-home” show before M.IT.B., which will also feature my predictions. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!