In just under four weeks, it will be Battleground, where we already know two of the matches. One of them is a grudge match, which is now turning sadistic between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt; and the other is for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, with Seth Rollins putting on the line against the recently-returned Brock Lesnar! The latter bout is the one where Rollins’ title could be in serious question for the first time since ‘Mania. How will the champion respond tonight to his newest, and biggest, challenge? What will Wyatt continue to do to get inside the head of Reigns?
As well, Paige has tried to lead a coup with the divas against the Bella Twins, but none have backed her up; in fact, Alicia Fox has sided with Divas Champion Nikki and her sister Brie. Will more join the “Twin Magic,” or does another diva actually see Paige’s side and help her out?
Lastly, what will the future hold for the U.S., Intercontinental, and Tag-Team Championships as we move into the summer and the July pay-per-view? All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for June 22nd, 2015 – “Help Wanted”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming And Arena Promo
The regular Raw video plays, then the new #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Brock Lesnar – makes his presence. Paul Heyman is in tow, and following a replay of last week where Triple H announced Lesnar’s comeback, Heyman goes into a dialogue of who Brock is and shows video of the carnage “The Beast Incarnate” left last March.
Heyman reveals that the condition of Lesnar being brought back was an apology. He must say he’s sorry to the announcer’s for destroying them the night after Wrestlemania, or he does not get his rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. (Writer’s Note: as my Dad asked, what about the actor playing a cameraman?) Brock walks over to John Bradshaw Layfield and shakes his hand, then goes to do the same to Michael Cole, but grabs him in a headlock and pats his head instead. Cole says “we’re good.”
Paul E. affirms that Brock has completed his obligation, so now offers an apology for the way his next opponent, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, will be treated at Battleground. He insinuates that Seth has been handed everything to him and guarded from day one, starting at NXT, between his alliances with The Shield and now The Authority. Heyman warns Rollins about the impending beating he will take at the hands of his client, Brock Lesnar!
Later tonight, Roman Reigns will take on “Mr. Money In The Bank,” Sheamus. Up next, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose will be in action against Kane!
Match #1: Single – “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose VS. Director Of Operations, Kane
Kane controls early with a quick cover for one, then slugs away on Ambrose against the ropes. Dean switches places in the corner and chops away, but is uppercutted by Kane, then choked against the ropes. Ambrose fires back with a leaping forearm, then repeatedly punches Kane in the corner.
The Director Of Operations makes a small comeback and this bout is back-and-forth. Dean kicks Kane as he was climbing back into the ring, and then jumps from the turnbuckle with a legdrop. On the outside, Kane chucked Ambrose into the steps for a break.
Kane is still in domination, planting him to the canvas with a sidewalk slam. He tears at Ambrose’s face with a chinlock, then drives him into the mat with a DDT. Ambrose gives Kane a neckbreaker and begins to get momentum. He rolls up Kane but only for two; however he follows with a front-dropkick and running elbow from the apron. Back in the ring, Kane catches Ambrose with a chokeslam attempt, but Dean fights out and clothesline Kane! He goes for the Dirty Deeds DDT, but WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins’ music plays, and he walks out to distract Ambrose.
Dean ducks a clothesline from Kane, and follows straight through with a suicide dive on Rollins, but then falls to a chokeslam from the top rope by Kane and cover for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Director Of Operations, Kane
The announcer’s review United States Champion John Cena VS. NXT Champion Kevin Owens, part two, from Money In The Bank with still-photos. Later tonight, the U.S. Champ will be back!
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Rollins and Kane are walking through the hallways, with Seth pleased about helping Kane. The Director Of Operations wonders if it is really because Brock Lesnar is back and Rollins wants support in that match. Kane walks away as Rollins offers a handshake.
Cole, Saxton, and Layfield now review the recent events between Reigns and Wyatt.
Tag-Team Champs The Primetime Players make their entrance and will be wrestling next!
Match #2: Tag Team – Tag Team Champions The Primetime Players (“Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young and “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil) VS. The Ascension (Connor and Viktor) (Non-Title)
(Note: Prior to this bout, it is announced that The New Day will get a rematch for the Tag Team Titles at Battleground against The Primetime Players.)
Connor and Titus begin, with Titus leaping over Connor then scoop-slamming him. He switches with Darren, who seat-splashes Connor, then tags Titus back in. He and Connor slug it out, while The New Day watch on backstage.
Viktor is now in and stomps away, then Connor who is back-dropped by Titus. He makes the hot-tag to Young, who works over Viktor. O’Neil hits Connor with a spinebuster, while Darren finishes this one with the Gutcheck – a fireman’s carry double-knee driver!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag Team Champions The Primetime Players (“Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young and “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil)
Sheamus now makes his way to the ring for upcoming contest!
Match #3: Single – “Mr. Money In The Bank,” “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus VS. Roman Reigns
They lockup to start, with neither getting an advantage. Reigns engages a standing-headlock, then Sheamus kicks him and also clamps a standing-headlock. Reigns uppercuts Sheamus and Samoan Drops him, then kicks him hard in the head from the apron. Roman clotheslines Sheamus out of the corner, but Sheamus begins to fight back. He is quickly put to the mat with a shoulder-block from Reigns, but again makes a surge. He gives Roman an Irish-Curse backbreaker as we go to break.
Roman is attempting a response, and does so with a jumping forearm and hits in the corner. He attempts the running-front-dropkick on the outside, but Sheamus counters and hurls Roman into the barrier. Sheamus now wears down Roman with a front chinlock and another Irish-Curse backbreaker. He ties Reigns up in the Cloverleaf submission, but Roman struggles out of it by flipping himself over and punching away. He clotheslines Sheamus and both tumble to the mat. Reigns follows with the running-front-dropkick, and then a launching clothesline onto the announce table!
As he gets back in the ring, Bray Wyatt appears on the Titantron and is having a tea party with someone, who is presumed to be Roman’s daughter. Reigns runs out of the arena, but as the camera pans back, it is only Bray’s empty rocking chair.
Winner via Count-Out: “Mr. Money In The Bank,” “The Celtic Warrior,” Sheamus
Backstage, Roman is frantically searching for Bray Wyatt. He finds he room, with “anyone but you” written on the wall in red, and a bunch of pictures of himself with his eyes and mouth cut out.
The announcer’s recap Lesnar and Heyman’s earlier promo.
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
J & J Security – Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury – are getting coffee with Seth Rollins walks up. He wants to be buddies with them again, but J & J deny him that chance and walk away after Rollins tries to explain himself.
Neville runs to the ring and is in a match, next!
Match #4: Single – “The Man That Gravity Forgot,” “The New Sensation” Neville VS. Kofi Kingston (with New Day Tag-team partners Big E. and Xavier Woods)
Neville begins with a standing/grounding side-headlock, then both leap over/duck under each other. Neville takes Kofi down with a wristlock, but is tossed out and pounded away on back in the ring. Kingston dives off the turnbuckle with an axe-handle, then wears down Neville with an armlock/chinlock combination. Neville soon reverses into a flapjack, then dropkicks Kingston out of the ring. he follows up, but is met by Woods and Big E.
The Primetime Players run out to help, but are order to the back by the referee; he also signals for Langston and Xavier to go to the back. Neville uses this to kick Kofi to the mat, then rocket off the top turnbuckle with the Red Arrow Tornado Splash for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Man That Gravity Forgot,” “New Sensation” Neville
Match #5: Single – “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder VS. King Barrett
Zack is in control for the early part of this bout until Barrett trips him up on the turnbuckle then repeatedly clotheslines him in the corner. Zack hits back with a clothesline and dropkick from the middle turnbuckle; then runs to the other corner with a forearm. He is crotched on the top turnbuckle and dropped with the Bullhammer from Barrett!
Winner via Pinfall: King Barrett
Segment #4: Video Promo
Michael Cole sat down with NXT Champion Kevin Owens for a talk that was aired on WWE.com. “I knew I was born to be in a WWE ring. John Cena told me that at Money In The Bank,” Owens begins his interview. However, he says that it was disrespect for Cena to shake his hand at Money In The Bank.
Up next, Cena will retort to Kevin Owens.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
The United States Champion, John Cena, makes his way to the ring. Holding up the U.S. Title, Cena begins. “This, a symbol of excellence, a symbol of opportunity. And I am damn proud to be champion of the U.S. the very opportunity that defines this, could be the very opportunity that destroys me.” He talks about how big Owens has gotten since coming to Raw and Smackdown, but also his diabolical actions against him and Machine Gun Kelly. Cena puts Kevin over as a “great wrestler,” but also calls him a “garbage human being.”
“Kevin Owens knows how much this means to me, but Kevin Owens knows how embarrassed I’d be if I had to hand this over.” He ponders what he has to do, whether to take on Owens one more time or not. Of course, Cena takes the champion’s path and will “fight” Owens at Battleground. “The rules for this are simple – may the best man win, and if you want some, come get some!”
Kevin Owens now walks out to the stage. “I guess, I guess I should be pretty upset about everything you just said about me. But John, the truth is that I’m not. Because one thing you’ll learn about me, is that I really don’t put much value into other people’s opinion.” He runs down derogatory names people have called him in the past and reminds Cena who truly came out on top at Money In The Bank. “What I care about is winning titles. The minute I stepped foot in NXT, I took the NXT Championship. And now that I’m here, and I see just how much that United States Title means to you, I want it.” He informs Cena that John never actually said it would be a championship contest, then monologues in French about Battleground.
Cena replies, berating Owens for speaking another language in America, then one-ups him by doing the same in both French and Chinese; well I might add! Bottom line, Cena gives Owens the match and declares using hand-motions, “I will kick your ass; the champ is here!”
Segment #6: Office Promo
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are discussing Owens and Cena when Rollins walks in. He tells The Authority about the abandonment of J & J and Kane, and wants them to fix it. HHH sees through it as him only wanting them because of having to face Lesnar, then pumps him up to sort it out himself by apologizing to Kane, Joey, and Noble.
Match #6: Tag-Team – Naomi and Tamina Snuka VS. The Bella Twins (Divas Champion Nikki and Brie) (with Alicia Fox) (Non-Title)
Tamina is tagged in quickly and in control early over Brie. She switches with Naomi who pounds away in the corner, then runs Brie into another one. Brie puts Naomi to the outside and tries to tag her sister, but Naomi yanks Nikki off the apron. Brie soon counters with a jawbreaker and gets the hot-tag to Nikki, who cleans house on Naomi and Tamina.
Nikki Alabama-Slams Naomi, but Snuka stops the subsequent count. The referee accidently trips up Tamina, and Naomi hits Brie with the Rearview. She goes for the same on Nikki, but Nikki pushes Tamina in front. Nikki takes advantage with the Rack Attack (Torture Rack Drop) and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Bella Twins (Divas Champion Nikki and Brie) (with Alicia Fox)
Up next, Mark Henry will face Intercontinental Champion Ryback!
Match #7: Single – “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry VS. Intercontinental Champion Ryback (Non-Title)
(Prior to the bout, it is announced that The Big Show, who is also on commentary right now, The Miz, and Ryback will be in a Triple-Threat contest for the I.C. Title at Battleground.)
Ryback is shoved to the canvas quickly with a shoulder-block, then chucks him into the corner barricade on the outside.
Ryback is back in control and gears up for the Meathook Clothesline, but Henry counters. Mark tries The World’s Strongest Slam,” but Ryback hits back with the Meathook and a splash from the top turnbuckle for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Ryback
Post-match, Show is standing over Henry and yells at him for not defeating Ryback. Henry shoves back, then falls to his knee as Big walks away.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
JoJo questions I.C. Champ Ryback on his upcoming Triple-Threat match. He proclaims that he knows what he’s going to do and tells us how much the championship has meant to him and his family. The Big Show walks up and makes fun of Ryback, then the two brawl, with Ryback getting the better.
Match #8: Single – Adam Rose (with Rosa Mendes) VS. “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Lana)
Prior to the bout, Adam Rose tells us that we don’t understand what passion, art, or “true love” is. He and Rosa make out before the bell rings. Ziggler starts out, but Adam hits back with vicious kicks. Rusev is shown, still on crutches, watching backstage.
Rose whips Dolph off the ropes and clamps on a sleeper, which Ziggler gets out of it with a backdrop. “The Show-Off” hits back with clotheslines and a corner-splash, then jumping elbow on the mat. Adam gets some momentum back with more kicks and a spinebuster for a near-fall. He goes to the top and dives off, but is met with a superkick by Dolph, who then gets the follow-up 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Lana)
Post-match, Dolph and Lana flirt with each other and then continuously kiss to Rusev’s dismay. “The Bulgarian Brute” throws his crutches against the decoration and falls down, but Summer Rae walks up and hands one to him.
Segment #8: Office Promo
J & J Security and Kane are with Triple H and Stephanie. The Authority invoke how much “pressure” Seth Rollins is under being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and try to convince the trio to listen to what he has to say. Kane, Jamie, and Joey walk away.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins comes to the ring and apologizes to J & J and Kane. He asks them to join him, so he can tell all three he is sorry. Kane, Mercury, and Noble obliges; then Rollins insists this whole deal has nothing to do with Brock Lesnar, but instead, their “family.” He gets annoyed with the fans who are chanting “Suplex City.”
Rollins continues to put over and suck-up to J & J and wants them to be with him; he does the same for Kane as well. During this, the crowd also chants “Justin Bieber” and “you sold out” to Seth, who again is irritated. Upon no response from Kane, Mercury, or Noble, Rollins gets a little frustrated and offers his hand. Before they can answer, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman interrupt.
Lesnar circles the ring while Heyman watches on with a big grin on his face. Inside, Mercury and Noble take off their jackets and ties in a sign of defence; they and Kane then leave Rollins alone in the ring! Brock is on the apron, smiling, as Seth is glaring in fear.
Kane suddenly hits Lesnar, and Jamie and Joey try, but Lesnar dismantles all three. He goes for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, who jumps him immediately, but is rapidly chucked with a couple of German Suplexes! The fans call out “one more time”, so Lesnar agrees and does it! He then picks up Rollins for an F-5, but Kane stops him and Chokeslams him. Seth has escaped while Kane measures Brock for another one. Lesnar battles out and German Suplexes Kane! The WWE World Heavyweight Champion tries to attack again, but Lesnar picks him up in another F-5 position. Kane interjects, and he and Rollins take over.
Seth whacks Lesnar with a chair on his knee against the post; then he and Kane stomp away. Mercury is back, and he and Kane hold Brock so Rollins can hit him with a diving move from the turnbuckle. Kane Chokeslams Lesnar, and Rollins finishes with a Pedigree. They stand over a prone Lesnar to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a really great Raw – lots of wrestling and decent promos, and some good story-telling all-around. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: bouts between Kofi/Neville, Reigns/Sheamus, Bellas/Snuka/Naomi, Ryback/Henry, and Adam/Dolph.
Liking the feuds between Primetime Players & Neville/The New Day, Rusev/Ziggler/Lana, Roman/Bray, and Cena/Owens. Glad Lesnar is back and loved the promo Heyman tonight. As I said in my opener, I believe this is the first time I’m really questioning whether Rollins’ championship reign will go on after the next pay-per-view; and this is a good thing, as it depicts awesome story-telling.
I enjoyed Adam Rose’s promo and hope he gets more of a chance to run with it in the next few weeks. Ryback has also improved extremely well on the mike, and I liked his back story of winning the Intercontinental Championship.
Bogus: I thought it was a good story of Rollins asking for the backup until the end; I think they should’ve stretched out this a little longer and have had Kane/J & J kept him guessing until the actual match at Battleground. Or, just have Rollins prove all on his own and step up to really “make” him.
I know Paige is working with Tough Enough, but I also felt there wasn’t much continuity in the storyline other than the replay-footage from last week. I think The Bellas or another diva or two should’ve cut a promo to further this along in Paige’s absence.
R-Truth is totally carrying the feud with King Barrett, and I feel that Barrett has gone so downhill since returning from surgery, which is a shame.
All-in-all, a very enjoyable Raw and great build towards Battleground. Let’s hope they keep it up this way through the PPV! Until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!