Tonight, Raw is my home-country of Canada, which usually means a great show! More particularly, it is Montreal, probably one of the top 3 most-famous cities for wrestling, ever since November 9th, 1997; and we all know why! Will there be some controversy in the partly French-speaking province?
With Roman Reigns interfering in Smackdown’s main-event, will he still be included in the Fatal-4-Way at Battleground for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Or does The Authority finagle his title shot away from him?
Paige lost her Divas Championship to a returning A.J. Lee last week, and after Smackdown, seems to be still “friendly” with her. Is this mind-games, or does she just want to “pony-up” for a rematch? Either way, it should be a hot feud!
Speaking of hot feuds, I’m really digging the new one between Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter and Rusev/Lana. Who is going to get the upperhand tonight, especially in Canada, where they could both be considered neutral?
Finally, the surprise of the week was Chris Jericho’s big return, and subsequent rivalry with The Wyatt Family! This will be an amazing one, and I look forward to the continuation of it tonight!
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for July 7th, 2014 – “Underlying Hostility”
Introduction Segment: Recap
A video montage of last week’s Raw ending airs, bringing us up-to-date on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Roman Reigns makes his entrance through the crowd as Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield welcome us. They announce that The Authority, Stephanie and Triple H, will not be in attendance tonight.
Reigns talks about the Battleground main-event, and runs down the competitors in the match. He determines they have no chance against him. “I understand I’m a wanted man around here, but I got a hair trigger.” The crowd chants “Cena sucks,” to which Roman replies that is true when he’s in the building. “Me, no, I’m not a pawn. I’m just the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Believe that!”
Pyro explodes on the stage and Kane walks out. “The Big Red Machine” glares at Reigns from the top of the ramp, but Reigns wonders why he’s there, saying nothing. Roman insinuates that Kane just does the dirty work of The Authority and Randy Orton.
Kane begins the march and the inevitable brawl ensues! They beat each other around the arena, through the fans and the ring. Kane runs Reigns’ face into the ring post and stomps away in the ring, until referees and agents (former wrestlers) run down and try to break it up. Both Kane and Roman fend off the backstage crew, but are broken up again and stare each other down.
Lawler and Cole go over the rest of the card, which includes Chris Jericho taking on The Miz, and “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins facing WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Plus, Bret “The Hitman” Hart will make an appearance!
Match #1: Tag-Team – The Wyatt Family (Erik Rowan and Luke Harper) VS. Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (Non-Title)
Luke and Jey begin, slugging away at each other. Jey leaps off the ropes with a forearm, then both Uso boys take The Wyatts to the floor. Jimmy switches with Jey, but Luke controls him. He gives Jimmy a stiff uppercut and chokes him with a boot on the canvas.
Rowan now in and rips away at Jimmy’s chin. He misses a sit-down splash, and Jey front-dropkicks him to the mat. Rowan kicks out at two, the slings Jey chest-first into the turnbuckle. Harper back in and snags Jey by the nose, and Erik gives him a splash.
Rowan is still dominating, pressing his fists into the head of Jey. Both Wyatts miss corner-splashes, allowing Jey to make the hot-tag to his brother. Jimmy is all over both, taking Luke down with a top-rope corkscrew senton! Jey comes back and soars over the ropes on to Rowan to the floor, while Jimmy nails a superkick on Luke! 1 – 2 – kickout! Harper drops Jey with a sit-down powerbomb, but Jimmy breaks the cover in time! They both take Luke to the outside again, but Rowan yanks out Jimmy while Luke viciously clotheslines Jey to get the hard-earned victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erik Rowan)
Post-match, Jimmy comes in and argues with the referee that he was the legal man, and the pinfall should not have counted.
The commentators plug a free week of WWE Network (as I am doing right now!). Also tonight, Dean Ambrose will go against Randy Orton in a Smackdown! rematch.
Segment #3: Office Promo
“The Viper” is conversing with “The Big Red Machine.” Both Orton and Kane agree that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will be back in the possession of The Authority. Seth Rollins walks in and warns them about his Money In The Bank contract.
Match #2: Single – Alicia Fox VS. Nikki Bella
(Note: The Authority has declared that both Divas will have one hand tied behind their back.) The referee ties Nikki’s first, then Alicia gets squirrely and attacks Nikki anyway. She takes a couple cans of liquid and sprays it all over Nikki. She then stomps away on the steel steps. Fox continues to mock Brie, Nikki’s twin sister.
Winner: None due to No Official Match Start
Match #3: Single – “The Super Athlete” Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana) VS. Rob Van Dam)
Prior to the contest, Lana now asks for Canada to comply with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Of course, she receives resounding boos. Van Dam interrupts before she can go further, and takes it to Rusev right away with kicks and a slingshot DDT! 1 – 2 – Rusev kicks out.
“The Super Athlete” nails R.V.D in the back of the head and takes control. He clamps on a rear chinlock, which Van Dam gets out but runs into a stiff elbow. Rusev hits R.V.D. with kicks in the corner and catches him in a fall-away slam position. Van Dam uses his momentum and then gives Rusev more kicks, including a top-rope thrust boot! Rusev counters a run with a big kick of his own, then forces Van Dam to tap out to The Accolade!
(Note; During the bout, a video message from Zeb Colter played, challenging Rusev to face Swagger at Battleground)
Winner via Submission: “The Super Athlete” Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Up next, Orton takes on Ambrose!
Match #4: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton VS. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose eggs on Orton to punch him in the chin first, then the two lock-up. Orton goes to the outside for a break. Ambrose brings Orton down with an armlock, which Randy elbows out of. Dean hits Orton in the corner, but “The Viper” trips him up and gives Ambrose punches in the corner. Ambrose turns it around with rapid fists and rakes Orton’s face on the ropes. Randy regains control, stomping away on Dean in the corner. He comes back, sweeping Orton and hurling wild punches again. Orton ends up on the floor for another break.
During the break, Orton ripped at Dean’s shoulder bandage, then chucked him into the steel steps. Orton continues to dominate, wearing Ambrose down by focussing on his left arm/shoulder. Dean counters a kick and DDT’s a bent-over Orton. He manages to clamp on a figure-4 leglock, but Orton wiggles to the ropes. Ambrose goes to the top, but Randy counters with a dropkick for two! Ambrose comes back with a clothesline, then pulls the ropes down, sending Randy back to the outside. He puts Randy into the barricade, then throws a bunch of chairs into the squared circle.
Orton pushes Dean into the ring post, then chucks him over the barricade. Charles Robinson, the referee, begins the 10-count, but Ambrose slides in just prior to the finish! Orton sets him up for the slingshot-DDT, but Ambrose reverses into a roll-up and a backslide, both for a near-fall! He goes for a clothesline, but Orton counters into the R.K.O. and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Rene Young interviews John Cena about his match with Set Rollins. He calls himself a huge target, because of the gold around his neck. However, Cena declares that gold is proof that he “takes care of business,” and proclaims he will do the same at Battleground. Roman Reigns walks in and threatens John that he will be the one.
Match #5: Single for the #1 Contendership to the United States Championship – Alberto Del Rio VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
(Note: Fandango is on commentary.) Elbow/collar tie-up and Del Rio gives Ziggler a shoulder-block. Dolph counters with a neckbreaker and sends Alberto to the outside. He goes for a baseball slide, but Alberto pulls the ring skirt, which traps Ziggler, and gives him a running Enziguri, using the ring apron! Del Rio takes control with a rear chinlock, but Dolph comes back with a crossbody off the ropes! He leaps onto Alberto in the corner, but Del Rio slides out and gives Dolph a reverse-suplex off the second rope! 1 – 2 – Ziggler kicks out!
They go back and forth, with Dolph DDT-ing Del Rio for two! Alberto goes for another running Enziguri, but Ziggler ducks and plants Del Rio with the Fameasser! 1 – 2 – Del Rio kicks out!
Fandango’s music plays and he dances on the announce table, which distracts Dolph. Del Rio nails Ziggler with a stiff kick-to-the-head, and finishes this one off!
Winner and #1 Contender for the United States Championship: Alberto Del Rio
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Stardust is talking to Goldust’s wig, wondering what his celestial sign is. Goldust says it is “written in the stars.”
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Fandango is walking through the hallways when Layla comes up and asks him if he still had feelings for Summer Rae. Fandango denies this in his unique way and hugs Layla while Rae looks on from a doorway.
Segment #7: Arena Promo
Jerry “The King” Lawler is in the ring and gives Montreal props for saving his life, when he was last in the city, he had his near-fatal heart-attack. Lawler now brings out Bret “The Hitman” Hart, to give a celebration that was supposed to happen 10 months ago. He walks out to praise from the fans and takes the microphone alone in the ring.
Despite his history in wrestling in Montreal, Bret still loves to be in the city; and if he could wrestle one more time, it would be here. Hart is getting elated at this feeling, but is interrupted by another version of himself – Damien Sand”hart.” Damien is attired in Bret’s old ring gear, complete with wig. He takes a shot at the Montreal Screwjob, Canada being a third-world country, and Bret’s lack of speaking skills. The real Hart just punches back, sending Damien tumbling to the floor.
Bret takes in the crowd’s adoration again, and United States Champion Sheamus comes out. He gives a fist-pump to Bret and preps for his match with Sand”hart.”
Match #6: Single – Damien Sand”hart” VS. United States Champion Sheamus (Non-Title)
Sand”hart” tries a few of Bret’s signature moves, but Sheamus works his way out of the Sharpshooter. He hits the Brogue Kick to complete this bout quickly!
Winner via Pinfall: United States Champion Sheamus
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with The Miz. He reads a letter from a fan, wanting Miz to put Chris Jericho in his place for interjecting in Miz’s great return last week. Miz promises to do that for Little Johnny Russo, holding up his fist.
Match #7: Single – Chris Jericho VS. The Miz
Lockup and standing side headlock by The Miz, with stomps to take control. He punches away, but Jericho chops back, then fake-punches and clotheslines Miz to the floor. He gives him a springboard-dropkick to put Miz back on the floor! Back in the ring, Jericho kicks Miz in the gut and drives him with a face-first bulldog, but is shoved over the ropes when he tried the springboard moonsault.
Miz pushes Jericho body-first into the ring apron, then kicks him hard in the head back in the ring. Jericho comes back again with chops and clotheslines, then soars off the top rope with a double-axe-handle smash! “Y2J” goes for the Walls Of Jericho, but Miz turns him around and kicks him hard in the head again. Miz misses again, allowing Jericho to hit a running Enziguri for two!
Miz counters again with a mini-flatliner, but misses another kick and almost gets rolled up for the loss! Jericho gets locked in the Figure-4 by Miz, but stretches to the ropes for a break! Jericho hits Miz in the face and traps him in the Walls Of Jericho! Miz gives up!
Winner via Submission: Chris Jericho
Post-match, the lights go out and Bray Wyatt is rocking in his chair in the aisle. He says everyone is waiting for him to “come save us.” He inquires how Jericho will save us all. Bray declares “I will hold your every word against you. And I will never, e-e-ever let you forget it.” He says that Jericho’s fans now “sing to a different tune,” following him instead. Jericho interrupts and yells at him to “shut the hell up!” Jericho agrees with Wyatt’s proclamation that “actions speak louder than words.” He starts the approach to Bray when the lights go out again and Harper and Rowan appear behind Bray.
Match #8: Tag-Team – The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) VS. Paige and Divas Champion A.J. Lee (Non-Title)
(Prior to the bout, Paige steals the mike from Justin Roberts and announces A.J. herself. They shake hands, ta-boot!) Naomi and Paige begin, with Naomi bringing her down with a double-knee drop. Naomi reaches for the tag, but Cameron refuses. This allows Paige to take control, rolling Naomi up then stomping on her in the corner. She switches with A.J.
The Divas Champ kicks Naomi down and gives her a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. A.J. locks on a sleeper, but Cameron again ignores the tag, instead doing her nails. She finally gets the tag, but Paige drops her with the Paige-Turner and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Paige and Divas Champion A.J. Lee
Post-match, Paige and A.J. leave while The Funkadactyls get into the predictable cat fight.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman and Cesaro are in the ring. Heyman puts over himself and Brock Lesnar as usual, then Cesaro interrupts. He claims that Montreal does not speak English, or “real” French. They speak Quebecois, and the rest of Canada can’t stand them!
Match #9: Single – Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) VS. Kofi Kingston
Kingston is all over Cesaro right off the bat, but is quickly pushed off the turnbuckle. Cesaro dives off the apron with a double-axe-handle, and tosses him back into the ring with a gutwrench suplex! He catches a flying Kofi again with another gutwrench, but Kofi counters a few moves. Kingston eventually manages to pin Cesaro and the surprise victory, 2-in-a-row!
Winner via Pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Post-match, Cesaro assaults Kingston again until Big E. runs out and makes the save.
Segment #10: Locker Room Promo
John Cena is preparing when Seth Rollins walks in. He teases the WWE World Heavyweight Champion about when he will cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase. Cena gives him compliments on what he has accomplished, and warns him “you’re in the for the fight of your life.”
It is announced that Roman Reigns will face Rusev this week on Smackdown!
Match #10: El Torito (with Diego) VS. “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas
Dallas evens he odds, getting his knees and offering a free shot. Torito uses his size and quickness for a short advantage, but Bo gets frustrated. He shoves Diego, on the outside, into the steel steps, then elbows Torito hard. He finishes him off with the Bo-Dog and takes this one!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas
Match #11: Single – WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (Non-Title)
They jaw at each other to begin, then lockup. Seth whips Cena off the ropes, who leapfrogs and hip-tosse Seth. Cena is punched down and Rollins gains advantage for a break.
Rollins has an armlock applied, but Cena powers out, backdropping Rollins to the mat. Seth recovers and dominates some more. He kicks away at Cena, but John catches his legs. Rollins kicks off, but Cena powerbombs him down for two! He ascends the top rope, but is collapsed with a flip-kick by Rollins! 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out!
The WWE World Heavyweight Champion makes a comeback, eventually trapping Rollins in the STF. Kane’s pyro blows again and out walks “The Big Red Monster!” as Cena stares at him, Randy Orton attacks from behind, causing the DQ!
Winner via Disqualification: WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
Post-match, Kane and Orton pound away on Cena until Roman Reigns makes the save! He Superman Punches Kane, then takes out Orton! Rollins smashes Reigns from behind with the briefcase, then does the same to Cena. He signals to cash in, so referee Charles Robinson runs down!
Before he can go further, Dean Ambrose spears Seth and they fight to the back. In the ring, Orton slides in but gets an Attitude Adjustment. Kane is back and tries for a chokeslam, but Roman Spears him! Reigns smirks at Cena, then holds up his hand. Both smile at each other to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a decent Raw, but it felt average. Usually international shows are a bit more amped up, and I thought there was something big missing from the show. Onto the usual critiques:
Excellence: the start of Raw; really got the energy going with the brawl and excited the fans in the arena, as well myself, for the potential of being a “hot” show. Great matches between Wyatts/Usos, Van Dam/Rusev, Ambrose/Orton, Miz/Jericho, Cameron/Naomi and Paige/A.J.
Still loving the feud between Rusev/Lana and Swagger/Colter; and can’t wait to see Reigns/Rusev collide on Smackdown!
Liking the way Paige and A.J. are interacting; even though I said Paige’s loss last week would’ve been much more meaningful if she was built stronger during her Divas Championship reign, I think they can redeem her with the way she is portraying her feelings for A.J. and the “mind-games” she is potentially playing. I also did like the cat fight between Naomi and Cameron, as it was a lot more fierce/wrestling than just the usual hair-pulling and slap-around.
Also still loving the new persona of Stardust, but would like to see him and Goldust in the ring again soon, such as this week on Smackdown or next week’s Raw, at the latest! Bo Dallas is wonderful, but he needs to engage in a long-term feud soon. I see it being Daniel Bryan when he returns, which would be good both in the ring and on the mike, but perhaps Dallas should also win the I.C. Title to elevate his character even more (much like when he was the NXT Champion.)
Jericho/Wyatt feud is going to be awesome, and enjoyed the mind-games Bray used against Chris.
Bogus: Totally not into Alicia Fox and thought her bout with Nikki was pointless. Same with Layla/Fandango/Summer triangle – it’s a shame this is getting more airtime/significance than Paige did with her Divas Championship reign. Hopefully A.J. being back will change this, and her and Paige will get featured A LOT more!
Again, loving Rusev/Lana/Swagger/Colter, but was disappointed that Swagger/Colter weren’t live. It would’ve been a real good face-off in Canada, because none of these people are Canadian, so who would’ve the fans’ sided with? (Although, Lana got the necessary heat because of Putin and slagging Canada, so kudos to her on that.)
I think that Ambrose should’ve gotten the victory over Orton; it wouldn’t have hurt “The Viper,” since he’s already in the main-event at Battleground, and would’ve added more fuel to Dean’s fire and his feud with The Authority.
I wasn’t “feeling” Dolph/Del Rio as much tonight; thought it was a bit short of a match and because we have seen them go at it so much over the last year and a bit.
Bret Hart was a letdown. He really should’ve been a lot more than putting over Sandow (who did do a great job in his gimmick), mainly because of the history that Hart has with this city. I can’t think right now of something, but overall, I was disappointed, and felt it was more of a throw-away.
Liked that Kofi got a win and was back to “angry Kofi,” but he really should’ve learned from last week and got out of dodge before Cesaro attacked him again. This made Kingston look weak/like an afterthought again, and put over Big E. more for the save.
Right now, I’m sitting on the fence with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship situation. I’m liking the new face of Roman Reigns being in the picture, but am definitely tired of Cena/Orton always going at it/being involved. It is definitely a shame that Daniel Bryan has his neck injury problems, because it seemed like he was going to be a “breath of fresh-air” to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and carry it on with new feuds for the summer. Now it looks like we’re going to get same-old/same-old for a while (Cena/Orton), with Reigns in for a small twist. However, he is not going to win it just yet, because I see them doing to him what they did to Daniel Bryan around this time last year; keep him down for a long time, and then have him “rise above hate” (sorry, but had to use that!) and finally capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. The real question is, can he keep his momentum and be the next Bryan, or do the fans fizzle out on him in 6 months time, well before ‘Mania and plans change?
All-in-all, an OK Raw, but hope they have a better “go-home” show next week prior to Battleground. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!