Once again, Raw is emanating from my favorite American city and the hometown of the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago, Illinois. The biggest question surrounding Raw tonight is “how will the usual ‘super hot’ crowd react to the goings on in the WWE?”
Brock Lesnar is scheduled to be on Raw tonight, so what will he do in retaliation to the assault he received at the hands of the recently-reformed Authority? Does WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins already have a plan in motion for his Battleground challenger?
Lastly, of course, I presume there will a few chants of a man who no one speaks of anymore in WWE, but will the Chicago fans go along with the latest storylines? Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for July 6th, 2015 – “Provoked”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo
Recap of The Authority and Brock Lesnar’s interactions is shown.
Segment #2: Welcoming and Arena Promo
Michael Cole greets us from Chicago then Brock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman, make their return to Raw since Brock was beaten down by The Authority two weeks ago. Heyman warns WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins that Lesnar is a “god of violent retribution.” He tells us that he will affect Rollins and anyone that is with him. Paul E. recaps “The Beast Incarnate’s” domination of The Undertaker, John Cena, and Roman Reigns.
Heyman threatens that Chicago will become “Suplex City” and Lesnar will wait for Seth to have that showdown tonight!
Cole and J.B.L. inform us that Kane is away on vacation in Hawaii, taking Seth’s offer. Still-images are shown of Kane’s time off drinking a Mai Thai, dressed in Hawaiian shirts, standing in front of a volcano, and playing a ukulele. (Note: these are obviously badly photo-shopped!)
The Big Show makes his entrance and will face Intercontinental Champion Ryback, next!
Match #1: Single – The Big Show VS. Intercontinental Champion Ryback (Non-Title)
(Note: The Miz provides his own commentary, sitting at ringside with a microphone.) The two big dudes go back-and-forth while Miz cheers on both, who he will join in a triple threat match at Battleground for the IC Title.
Show is back in control, tearing at Ryback’s leg with a lock. Miz distracts Big with his oratory, allowing Ryback to gain momentum. He hits Show with the Meathook Clothesline and splashes him on the canvas, but still only gets two! Ryback ups the ante by soaring from the top turnbuckle with a splash, but Show moves and chokeslams the I.C. Champ. Show follows to the second turnbuckle and dives win an elbow, but Miz interrupts and attacks both.
Winner: No Contest due to interference
Post-match, Miz continues to attack both, but they are too strong for him. He finds himself in the middle and tries to convince them to wait until Battleground, but Show and Ryback do not oblige. Ryback Shellshocks Miz and then Big Show chokeslams Miz. Ryback quickly Meathook clotheslines Big Show too, and Show then walks to the stage while Ryback poses in the ring with his title.
Later tonight, United States Champion John Cena will have another U.S. Open Challenge.
Kane’s travels in Hawaii continue to be depicted. As well, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble are shown touring the city of Chicago with their new Cadillac.
Match #2: Single – Brie Bella (with Divas Champion and sister Nikki Bella, and Alicia Fox) VS. Paige
Brie quickly takes control after putting Paige to the outside. Back in the ring, she wears down the “Diva Of Tomorrow” with an armbar as Naomi and Tamina Snuka were shown watching on backstage. Fox interferes slightly, but Paige knees her and Nikki by accident after Brie moved. Paige makes a comeback with punches, knees, and a stiff-kick. Nikki and Alicia hop the apron, but Paige disposes of them; however she turns into a kick and sit-down facebuster by Brie for her to get the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Brie Bella (with Divas Champion and sister Nikki Bella, and Alicia Fox)
Post-match, Fox stomps Paige down while Nikki plants her with the Rack Attack (Torture Rack drop).
After a video on the recent history between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt, Reigns makes his way through the fans and will wrestle Sheamus next!
Match #3: Single – Roman Reigns VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank,” “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
They lockup a couple times and struggle until Roman puts Sheamus to the mat with a running shoulder block. Sheamus kicks Reigns in the gut and clamps on a standing side headlock. He takes control and spins Roman around with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Sheamus drops a knee-to-the-face and hops on the turnbuckle. Reigns yanks Sheamus off the middle turnbuckle, scoop-slams him, then clotheslines Sheamus to the floor. He runs Sheamus into the corner barricade, but is quickly kneed by Sheamus back in the ring. Sheamus pounds on Roman and rams his head off the ring post, causing Roman to fall to the floor.
Sheamus is still in control, holding Roman in a rear chinlock. Sheamus stops to pose, allowing Roman to capitalize with a fireman’s carry flapjack. Reigns gears up with a few clotheslines and the running-front-dropkick on the apron. He drives Sheamus to the canvas with the Samoan Drop, then signals for the Superman Punch. Sheamus catches Roman off the run, but Reigns fends him off. He tries again but is caught again, and this time, driven with the Irish Curse Backbreaker.
Sheamus jumps off the turnbuckle right into a Superman Punch! Reigns goes for a Spear, but the lights go out and Bray Wyatt walks down the aisle. Roman runs at him, but pulls off a wig, as the real Bray appears on the Titantron. The lights go back on and Reigns is not in the ring. The referee signals for the bell, giving this one to Sheamus.
Winner via Count-Out: “Mr. Money In The Bank,” “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
Post-match, as Sheamus is celebrating, Randy Orton returns and dismantles Sheamus with an RKO after a brief brawl!
Segment #3: Office Promo
COO Triple H is on his cell phone when WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and J & J walk in. He asks Noble and Mercury to leave as he wants to chat with Rollins. “The Game” wants to know what Seth’s plans are for Lesnar, and Rollins wants some advice. HHH tells him to not engage Lesnar at first, but then do “the unthinkable,” and take Heyman upon his warning to “never provoke ‘The Beast.’” Rollins realizes this means to “call out” Brock and let him know who is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Summer Rae and Rusev are standing in the ring. Rusev has the microphone and apologies for the time he spent with Lana and sinking to Ziggler’s level. He puts himself over as “better looking and more passionate,” then Summer says we “should be showing this man the respect he deserves.” Rusev tells Rae not to “waste your precious words,” then kisses her hand.
Dolph Ziggler now interrupts with Lana. He credits her for helping Rusev get where he is in his WWE career. Ziggler tells Rusev “it’s gone and I found it,” then lip-locks with Lana. She and Summer remove their shoes, and Rusev blindside attacks Ziggler with his crutches. Rusev brutally beats Ziggler, taking off his cast and kicking him with the healed ankle. Summer chucks Lana to the floor and Rusev completes his attack by pushing Ziggler’s throat into the crutch.
Footage of Dolph being ridden away on a stretcher by Paramedics and Referees, with Lana by his side, is shown.
Match #4: Single – “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas VS. “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Bo goes to shake hands, which Ambrose has none of and begins unloading a barrage of kicks and punches. Funnily, the crowd splits chants between “Let’s go Ambrose” and “We Bo-Lieve,” which seems to give Dallas momentum. He takes control for a bit, but Ambrose gears back up with a bulldog and second-turnbuckle diving elbow. He clotheslines Bo and plants him with the “Dirty Deeds” Underhook-DDT and gets the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Match #5: Single – King Barrett VS. “King What’s Up” R-Truth
Truth almost gets the duke with a quick victory-roll, but Barrett soon gains control. He rams Truth into the ring apron and whips him off the post. Back in the ring, he mount-punches R and works him over with a rear chinlock. Truth fights back with a slap and kick, but is booted by Barrett as he ran off the ropes.
Barrett drops a knee on Truth’s head and stomps on him, then stretches him out with a surfboard. The feed is lost for a few seconds, but comes back to see Truth hitting Barrett with punches and a jumping calf-kick! He clotheslines Barrett a couple times and hits the Scissors Kick! 1 – 2 – Barrett kicks out! Truth splashes Barrett in the corner. Barrett kicks back and winds up for the Bullhammer, but Truth ducks and rolls up for a close one! Truth dives off the middle rope, but Barrett counters with the Bullhammer for the finish!
Winner via Pinfall: King Barrett
Segment #5: Arena Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins walks out with a paddle in his hand, then signals for J & J to roll out in their Cadillac; they also become equipped with paddles. In the ring, Seth touts The Authority’s success in intimidating and assaulting Brock Lesnar. “I conquered the conqueror. I set fire to ‘Suplex City,’ and at Battleground, I am going to burn it to the ground.”
After footage of said attack, Rollins vows to still be WWE World Heavyweight Champion after Battleground. Seth moves on to enticing Lesnar to join them in the ring. “Are you ‘The Beast’ that everybody thinks you are? Or are you just Paul Heyman’s ‘bitch?’”
Lesnar and Heyman march out, with Lesnar staring the trio down from the aisle as they weld the paddles. Brock slowly backs away and signals for Heyman to give him something. Paul E. rolls over an equipment trunk containing fire extinguishers and a couple of axes. Lesnar smiles then swings the weapons at the shiny almost-all-red Cadillac, destroying the pretty vehicle!
J & J now run up the walkway, but Brock trashes them too. He breaks Noble’s arm with the Kamura Lock, then overhead-belly-to-belly suplexes Mercury onto the hood and windshield. Both he and Rollins take off their shirts and meet in the ring. Rollins exits quickly and high-tails it through the crowd. Lesnar gives chase to a point, then goes back to stand on the demolished car.
Match #6: Tag-Team – The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) VS. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E.) (with New Day Tag-Team partner Xavier Woods)
Kofi and Sin start, with Cara flipping over and tossing Kingston across the ring. Kalisto is in and rolls Kofi up with a La Majistral Cradle, but is kneed down by Big E. Kalisto knees Big in return and hits him with a springboard tornado elbow. He puts both E. and Kofi to the outside, then The Dragons double-dropkick Woods who hopped the apron. Kalisto and Cara rocket of the top turnbuckle!
Kofi jawbreaks Cara but is turned around into an overhead suplex pin. Big E. breaks it up but is tossed out. Kofi is also thrown to the floor, and Cara and Kalisto dive onto The New Day, but Woods pushes Kingston out of the way, and Big E. catches Kalisto to overhead-belly-to-belly suplex him on the floor! In the ring, Kofi and Big hit their double-team finisher to take this one!
Winners via Pinfall: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E.) (with New Day Tag-Team partner Xavier Woods)
Up next is John Cena’s U.S. Championship Challenge!
Match #7: Single for the United States Championship – John Cena (Champion) VS. ???
Cena is out first and gloats in the fact that Kevin Owens has lost his NXT Championship to Finn Balor this past weekend. Owens himself walks out and accepts the challenge. He does not want to wait for Battleground, and instead wants to take the U.S. Championship now to shut Cena up. However, another man has invested interest. Cesaro walks out and wants a rematch, since Owens intruded last week. “I was about to do what you were not able to do. You were not able to do it then, you are not going to be able to do it at Battleground; that is to beat John Cena for the United States Championship. So, if you don’t get out of this ring now, you won’t just have a problem with John Cena, you’ll have a problem with me.” Cesaro chucks the mike and Owens walks away, leaving this to Cesaro and Cena.
They lock up and Cesaro clamps on a standing side headlock. Cesaro hits a hard uppercut, sending Cena to the outside.
Cena looks to be in control and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop, but Cesaro gets up and clotheslines John. He shows off by doing squats while holding Cena in a suplex position. On the outside, Cesaro double-stomps Cena on the floor from the apron, then clamps on a rear chinlock back in the ring. and works Cena over with a shoulder lock submission.
Cesaro is still in control with a backbreaker, but misses a running uppercut. He plants Cesaro with a couple spin-out backdrops, but is trapped in a crossface after Cesaro countered another Five Knuckle Shuffle attempt. Cena picks Cesaro up in an Attitude Adjustment position, but Cesaro wiggles out of it. Cena trips and locks Cesaro in the S.T.F., but Cesaro struggles to and reaches the bottom rope for the required break.
Cesaro holds Cena and tosses him with three consecutive gut-wrench suplexes. Cesaro then gives Cena repeated uppercuts in the corner, but can’t swing him around as Cena reverses into a DDT! After a near-fall, Cena ascends the top turnbuckle, but Cesaro counters with a dropkick. Cena is prone against the corner barricade, allowing Cesaro to run at him with an uppercut.
Cesaro climbs the top turnbuckle, but is caught! Cena attempts another AA but Cesaro lands on his feet. Cena dives off the top turnbuckle with a legdrop to the back of Cesaro’s neck! 1 – 2 – Cesaro raises his shoulder! Cesaro manages the flapjack uppercut but also only gets two! Cena hits the A.A. and covers! 1 – 2 – Cesaro still gets his shoulder up! Cena runs at Cesaro but is caught and swung around for a bit, then locked in The Sharpshooter! Cesaro quickly turns it into another crossface and holds onto it as Cena tried to roll through. Cena reverses it again and traps Cesaro in the S.T.F. again in the middle of the ring. Cesaro works his way out and uniquely suplexes him for a near-fall!
Cena springboards off the apron, but Cesaro pushes Cena off of the stunner. He drives Cena to the canvas with The Neutralizer but Cena kicks out! Cena goes for a Tornado DDT from the turnbuckle, but Cesaro reverses into a front-face slam and clutches on the crossface again! Cena works his way to the ropes for the break. Cesaro suplexes Cena from the apron into the ring and covers, only getting two!
Cena flips around over Cesaro and gives him a sit-down powerbomb, but also only gets two! Cena puts Cesaro on the turnbuckle and looks to go for an A.A., but Cesaro counters and attempts a top-rope Neutralizer! Cena works his way out of it and instead tosses Cesaro with the Attitude Adjustment. He covers and gets the hard-earned/fought victory!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL United States Champion: John Cena
Post-match, Kevin Owens tries to quickly attack Cena, but John plants him with the AA. Owens gets out of the ring and scurries up the ramp. Cena stands in the ring, getting an ovation for this match, and mouths “thank you Chicago, I mean that” to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was another great Raw with plenty of action start-to-finish, some good promos, and a lot of decent build towards Battleground. Add to that, the fans did not ruin the show with obscure chants (which I was afraid of, considering how rowdy Chicago can be), so I thoroughly enjoyed this edition. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Lesnar/Heyman & Authority segments – all very well performed, sold the match, and not too much/over-the-top; this is the amount I like to see.
I think this is the first time I’m typing this, but I think all the matches were well-wrestled tonight! Well done, everyone!
Actually looking forward to the upcoming hard-hitting feud between Sheamus and Randy Orton.
Glad to see Cesaro still being used relevantly despite Tyson Kidd being injured. As much I started liking their tag-team, I think with mike work and in-ring performances like tonight, this is where Cesaro should be and keep on climbing,. I hope to see him get a significant push and stay in the U.S. Title picture over the summer.
Very nice for this Chicago crowd to give Cena a much-deserved applause following his fantastic bout with Cesaro!
Bogus: my only complaint this week is the feud with Rusev/Summer/Dolph/Lana. I’m liking Rusev and Summer’s side of things, but Dolph verbalizes the same stuff every week (yes, so does Rusev, but I find him more genuine and realistic), and Lana is not speaking much anymore, which is a shame because she is gold on the mike. I hope this either changes soon or just ends. As much as I loved Ziggler before, he’s had the “hot chick gimmick” too much and really doesn’t need a manager. All he should be doing is winning matches and boasting about that, eventually climbing back into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture.
In general, an awesome Raw! Next week is the go-home show, so as usual, the report will also feature my picks for Battleground. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!