01st Jul2014

WWE RAW: Results & Review (30.06.14)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

24 hours removed from Money in the Bank and WWE host another edition of RAW, live from Hartford, Connecticut. What will WWE do to set up the next PPV, Battleground? What will the new WWE World Champion John Cena have to say to the WWE Universe? Will Seth Rollins attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank contract? Let’s take a look at the June 30th, 2014, edition of RAW.

The Match Results:

  • Seth Rollins pinned RVD
  • The Wyatt Family beat Sheamus & The Uso’s
  • The Funkadactyls defeated Nikki Bella in a handicap match
  • Kofi Kingston pinned Cesaro
  • The Great Khali squashed Damien Sandow
  • Dolph Ziggler pinned Fandango
  • Goldust & Stardust beat Rybaxel
  • AJ Lee pinned Paige to regain the Divas Title
  • John Cena & Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton & Kane went to a non-finish

The show opened with, shock-horror, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon hitting the ring and talking about how John Cena is an “A+ Player” and they are happy that he is the new Champion. Cena comes to the ring and Trips and Steph tell him that he is on the cover of the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game. Cena puts the game over and then proceeds to talk about not trusting Triple H and Stephanie, giving Bryan a title shot when he returns, and all the usual Cena-shtick. Cena talks like he’s just come out of a street gang, for some reason, which sounds ridiculous. Cena as a street-smart rap-act only worked when it was a comedy gimmick. The segment ended with The Authority telling Cena that due to him choosing to do things “the hard way” (a dialogue and angle that is being repeated from a Steve Austin/Mr McMahon angle from March/April 1998) he is being placed in a fatal-four-way match at Battleground against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane. Cena ends the segment by talking crap. Literally. This felt like any other Cena segment over the last decade. Blah.

The opening scrap between Rollins and RVD was a show-stealer with the rightful man picking up the win. RVD, in an enhancement role, helping younger talent, has found his niche. As an in-ring performer he has plenty still to offer, perhaps a tweak of his 2001-esque character would be welcome though. Wyatt’s/Sheamus & Uso’s, Kofi/Cesaro and the main event tag match were all worth watching, but nothing on this episode really felt fresh except for the Rollins/Ambrose feud and the Swagger-turn.

There were three big (ish) returns on this episode of RAW. The Miz made his way to the ring, claiming to be a big movie star (because he’s in the upcoming The Marine 4. Really?). It’s good to see The Miz return as an annoying heel, a role he is most suited to. Chris Jericho made his return to WWE, attacking The Miz to a big pop. Jericho was then interrupted by The Wyatt Family and they took Jericho down, perhaps starting a feud between Bray and Y2J. Should result in a good match and a much-needed victory for Bray after the harmful and nonsensical Cena-feud. Finally, AJ Lee returned and cut a babyface promo before defeating Paige for the Divas title. A step back as far as I’m concerned, Paige played the heel here and the fans were strongly behind AJ Lee. This spoke loudly about how fickle the WWE audience is in 2014 in many ways, booing a talent like Paige a mere three months after she debuted. It was as if Paige and AJ had swapped roles all of a sudden. WWE appear to be “going back to basics” at the moment, with Cena as champion, AJ as Divas champ, Sheamus as US champion and Kane and Orton in the main event. Oh dear.

It was revealed that Bad News Barrett’s shoulder injury would keep him out of action for a number of months, which if true is a big blow to Barrett who was finally getting a little deserved push and was making his character shine on television. The Intercontinental Title, now vacant, will be up for grabs in a battle royal at the upcoming Battleground PPV.

There were, yet again, plenty of useless segments and matches on this episode. Damien Sandow, dressed as Vince McMahon, cut a comedy-promo in a faux-Vince voice before being squashed in four seconds by The Great Khali. Terrible. Santino and Adam Rose did some alcohol-promotion stuff in a segment that was so awkward I think I cringed throughout. Bo Dallas did a pointless “one-minute silence” spot for “fallen heroes” Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett. Silly.

Rusev and Lana cut an anti-American promo again only to be interrupted by Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger. Playing babyfaces to a massively popular reaction from the fans, Coulter berated Lana and Rusev before Swaggs laid out Rusev. This opens a feud that should result in Rusev’s first good match on the main roster and begins Swagger’s first babyface run since his debut in WWE years ago. This was a fun moment.

Overall I just found RAW to be a giant fall backwards yet again by WWE who seem to be petrified of running with new ideas and young talent. Going back to Cena as the Champion is one thing, but most of the product is stale and tired out right now. The main event was fine, but felt like any other tag main event featuring these guys. Reigns is being pushed too quickly and I feel like it might backfire if WWE don’t take a small step back and give him a strong feud with someone who can have great matches with the big Samoan. There are talented younger guys who should be in the main event, right now is not Reigns’ time. Not yet. Rollins attempted to cash in his contract on Cena but Ambrose attacked Seth, leaving Triple H and Reigns to have a stare-down, an early set-up to their rumoured SummerSlam match perhaps. Another disappointing show.

RAW: Best Match: Seth Rollins vs. Rob Van Dam

RAW: Best Talker: Zeb Coulter

RAW: Worst Match: The Great Khali vs. Damien Sandow

RAW: “This Sucks” Award: Booking, Creative, Khali, JBL

RAW: Surprise of the Night: Chris Jericho, The Miz & AJ Lee return to WWE

RAW: Honourable Mentions: Kingston, Cesaro, Wyatt Family, Uso’s

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