02nd Jul2019

WWE Raw – July 1st 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s Monday Night Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and Paul Heyman is now in charge of Raw…eventually. I’m not kidding. If you haven’t been paying attention the last few days, then it’s time for you to hear the news that Paul Heyman has been hired to run Raw and Eric Bischoff has been hired to run Smackdown. Yeah, welcome to the next chapter in a very wild year. From what I understand, Paul is not completely in charge of Raw, but will get that power over time. Okay, we’ve got a few surprises here, so let’s jump into a card with AJ Styles battling Ricochet for the US Title in the main event.

Match #1: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley – Falls Count Any-Where Match (No Contest)

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The previously announced Falls Count Anywhere Match between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley came to an abrupt halt when both Superstars went crashing through the LED board following a brawl throughout the American Airlines Arena, leading to a medically-induced match stoppage. Strowman caused the chaos, charging the former Intercontinental Champion through the boards and setting off a shower of sparks that briefly blacked out the arena. Despite Strowman initiating the collision, however, the impact did not spare The Monster Among Men in any sense of the word; both he and Lashley were incapacitated when WWE officials hit the scene, and EMTs quickly arrived to extricate the two Superstars from the wreckage. With WWE workers and stagehands looking on, Strowman and Lashley were each loaded onto stretchers and carted out of the arena, presumably to a local medical facility for evaluation.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was too short of a brawl that was good while it lasted. The idea here was that when Braun soeared Bobby through the LED board, they nearly killed each other. I don’t like stopping big matches so short, but I understand that Vince has put a mandate that matches can’t go on during commercial breaks, which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. From what I’ve heard, Paul Heyman was the one to fathom this booking decision. Well, who-ever thought of it, they get to revel in their effort, because it worked.

Match #2: The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Samoa Joe struck again in emphatic fashion on Raw, first with a Coquina Clutch to Xavier Woods that forced a disqualification stoppage of The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders (leading to a victory for New Day).

My Opinion: 1 out of 5 – This was too damn short.

Match #3: Samoa Joe & The Viking Raiders def. The New Day

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The addition of WWE Champion Kofi Kingston back to their ranks slightly reinvigorated ya boys against the trio of hosses, but The Viking Raiders proved near immovable against the titleholder’s arsenal. The big men occupied New Day’s attention for almost the entirety of the second match, forcing them to change course and take Erik & Ivar out of action to give them any hope of winning. Kofi cleared the decks with a Trouble in Paradise to Ivar on the ring apron, but his team’s preoccupation with the Raiders left them blind to a tag from Joe, who snuck up behind Kofi and put the finishing touches on the bout with a Coquina Clutch that put Kofi to sleep in the center of the ring.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was good for the time they got, but it all felt ephemeral. I can’t believe I just used that word in a sentence. The action was good while it lasted and was a nice teaser for Joe/Kofi.

Match #4: Lacey Evans def. Natalya

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In two weeks, Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans have a rare opportunity to win two titles in one fell swoop — Seth Rollins’ Universal Championship and Becky Lynch’s Raw Women’s Title — and Raw gave the audience something of a preview as to how that dynamic might work come bell time at Extreme Rules. While Evans was the only one of the two to compete, Corbin was an active coach in The Sassy Southern Belle’s effort against Natalya and even got involved when the comparatively inexperienced Evans found herself at the mercy of the veteran Natalya. Corbin tripped up The Queen of Harts as she started to roll, allowing Evans to recover and clock the Canadian with the Woman’s Right. It was both a savvy interference to boost Evans’ confidence and a statement from Corbin. After all, his status as Universal Champion might come down to a woman who’s been notable for “almost” beating Becky Lynch. Clearly, he’s not going to allow “almost” to be the last word this time around.

My Opinion: 1.5 out of 5 – Natalya got wasted again on another flavor of the month. I feel bad referring to Evans that way, but that’s what she is to Vince. Evans will get there, but it should not be at the expense of wrestlers who are already capable of wrestling great matches that could possibly draw money.

Match #5: The Miz def. Elias (2-out-of-3-Falls Match)

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

For all The Miz’s righteous indignation following Shane McMahon’s betrayal a few months back, The A-Lister has been short on victories against his former partner, to say nothing of Shane’s various henchmen and goons. That changed in a major way on Raw, as the former WWE Champion defeated Elias not once but twice in a 2-out-of-3-Falls Match that gave Miz some hard-earned vindication after months of coming up heartbreakingly short. The A-Lister came out swinging, dispatching Elias with a Skull-Crushing Finale for the early first fall. The Living Truth answered with Drift Away quickly thereafter, but it became clear in Fall No. 3 that Elias suffered by not having Shane at ringside this time around. With the bout on an even keel, Miz’s heart kept him in the fight, and when Elias’ knee collided with the ring post after an errant charge on the apron, Miz quickly forced The Living Truth to tap out to the Figure-Four Leglock. And given everything he’s been through lately, you could perhaps give Miz some slack for applying the hold a little bit past the bell or for smiling as he strolled up the ramp with Elias writhing in his wake. After all, it’s been months of tough nights. It’s about time he had himself an awesome one.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – The Miz worked hard to make his big victory feel like a big moment and he was pretty successful. Elias is a very dull, unpolished wrestler, but he seems to be a willing participant in whatever he is asked to do, so that means he’s a professional. Neither man is a great wrestler, but they seem to be of good character, so that makes me feel bad for degrading their matches so much. In any case, this turned out well enough.

Match #6: Universal Champion Seth Rollins & Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch def. Mike Kanellis & Maria Kanellis

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Mike Kanellis has been on something of a quest to boost his star on 205 Live of late; if Raw is any indication, he and his wife Maria might be biting off more than they can chew, as the husband-and-wife-duo challenged Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch to a Mixed Tag Team Match in the hopes of supplanting them as WWE’s pre-eminent power couple. It did not go well for them. Rollins overwhelmed Mike and forced him to tag in Maria, thereby summoning Becky in per Mixed Tag roles. Becky gladly would have thrown fists had Maria not weaseled out of it by grabbing the mic at ringside and claiming she was pregnant before berating Mike for not being man enough to be the father. Becky quickly changed course by submitting Mike with the Dis-arm-her, though his troubles were just beginning: Maria got in the ring and unloaded on her husband for his perceived lack of manhood, claiming the only “man” in the ring was Lynch, and she might have been better off if Becky was the father of her children. And if you’re Mike Kanellis, after tonight, the workplace grievances of 205 Live are probably looking pretty tame in comparison right about now.

My Opinion: 1.5 out of 5 – This came and went like a fart in a breeze. Do you want me to describe this brief toot of stink? This was a good idea, but it just never went any-where.

Match #7: Carmella def. Alexa Bliss

My Opinion: 0 out of 5 – This was ten seconds of suck.

Match #8: Nikki Cross def. Carmella

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Is Alexa Bliss playing Nikki Cross? Carmella seems to think so, and she may have inadvertently proven her point by beating The Goddess in an impromptu match stemming from a confrontation on “A Moment of Bliss” where Carmella questioned why Cross’ defeat of Bayley on SmackDown LIVE led to a title match for Bliss instead of Nikki herself. The Princess of Staten Island’s flash pin of Alexa led Nikki to challenge Carmella instantly thereafter, and Cross dispatched Mella with the swinging neckbreaker in a matter of minutes. Alexa was quick to join in the spotlight, raising her hand alongside Cross and declaring “We won!” That she lost her own match made no difference. After all, a win for Nikki Cross is a win for Alexa Bliss.

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – At least Nikki can wrestle. I feel bad again, but it needs to be said, that only people who can wrestle professional looking matches should be on TV.

Match #9: Cesaro vs. No Way Jose

My Opinion: 0 out of 5 – This was just a ruse for an angle with Drake Maverick and R-Truth. When does Paul Heyman take over completely?

Match #10: Drake Maverick def. R-Truth to become the new 24/7 Champion

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Let’s say you’re Drake Maverick. Your wedding day went down in flames after R-Truth relieved you of the 24/7 Championship; your marriage similarly immolated until you accepted your wife’s offer to go on a honeymoon (over the protests of EC3, one might add); and now you’re faced with the ultimate choice: Your bride or the “love of your life.” What do you do? If you’re Drake, you try to do both, and you succeed. The 205 Live General Manager brought his bride, Renee, to Raw as a stopover before their trip that seemed as though it would be a thinly-veiled, last-ditch effort to win back the title. When Renee told Drake he’d have to choose between her or the championship, Truth was more than happy to rub salt in the wound by taunting Maverick with his continued reign. To his credit, Maverick stood strong, even refusing to budge from his ringside seat when the usual suspects chased Truth through a planned No Way Jose vs. Cesaro match that never materialized thanks to the shenanigans. But in Raw’s waning moments, Drake made his move, hitting Truth in the back with a suitcase and pinning him in the backstage area to win the title before getting out of dodge with his wife, who was too stunned to register everything that had just happened. Sometimes, you really can have it all.

My Opinion: 0.5 out of 5 – This was mildly entertaining…very mild entertainment.

Match #11: (Main Event) Ricochet def. AJ Styles – WWE United States Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

AJ Styles’ victory last week over Ricochet was as much an appetizer as it was a shocker — here was a Superstar returning from injury, defeating a newly-crowned champion and seemingly seizing next-man up status — but what happened in the follow up(s) this week was a statement. Still trying to bring out “the real AJ Styles,” Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson successfully stoked some backstage scuttlebutt to turn Styles’ & Ricochet’s friendly rivalry into a heated battle with the title at stake, The Phenomenal One seemingly pinned Ricochet to become United States Champion. Upon further review however, the decision was reversed, as Ricochet’s foot had been under the ropes, thereby forcing the refs to restart the match.

With his victory taken from him, Styles flustered and out of sorts for a variety of reasons — The looming presence of Gallows & Anderson at ringside being one, and Ricochet’s persistence the other. Nothing Styles did seemed to be enough to keep the champ down; he had taken AJ’s best shot and the challenger struggled in orchestrating a follow-up. A Brainbuster and rack bomb couldn’t get the job done, but a dizzying rollup by Ricochet did, pinning Styles for a title retention that counted this time around. Styles seemed to begrudgingly accept the results of the bout, even shaking Ricochet’s hand once again. But when Gallows & Anderson climbed on the apron to mean-mug their good brother, Styles surprised everyone by seemingly agreeing that he wasn’t quite being himself. The Phenomenal One turned around and decked Ricochet then and there, kicking off a three-pronged beating that included a Magic Killer from the good brothers and a top-rope Styles Clash from AJ himself. It goes without saying that Ricochet showed his mettle tonight. But there’s an argument to be made, in hindsight, that he didn’t quite know who AJ Styles was. It’s a mistake painfully rectified, and dearly paid for.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This was really good when there wasn’t any bull-$#!@. The “no wrestling during commercials” thing struck again, but AJ and Ricochet made it work for an extremely short, yet enjoyable, title match. Is Paul Heyman going to take over yet, so I can get a longer match?

News Of The Night:

  1. AJ Styles turned “heel” and re-joined The Club with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The Club tricked AJ into thinking that Ricochet was dis-respecting him the whole night, so the heel turn has a very temporary feel to it. Any-way, they beat the piss out of Ricochet to what ultimately amounted to a heel turn that most of the crowd took delight in, even when they were booing it…a little bit. Over-all, I bet AJ is a face in three months, especially since he got a lot of cheers for attacking Ricochet any-way.
  2. Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley crashed through an LED board to start off Raw with a violent angle.
  3. Nikki Cross is still being pushed as the rightful contender to Bayley’s Women’s Title.
  4. Paul Heyman seems to have started some sort of feud with The Street Profits, since the team chided Paul’s presence on Raw to his face.
  5. Maria Kanellis is pregnant and is using her pregnancy to humiliate her husband, Mike Kanellis, into becoming more ruthless.
  6. The Undertaker claims he is picking a fight with Shane McMahon because Shane has become an egotistical coward.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

The stuff that had Paul Heyman’s touch to it were good and the main event was just as such, despite the awkward booking.

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