Thoughts on Raw for June 30th, 2014

raw
by: Al N. Jaxson
and Mitch Nickelson

Al: TGIM!!!! Another week has started and what better way to start off your week than some good ol fashioned wrastlin!

Mitch: It’s the day after Money In The Bank, which was a pretty good show. I didn’t watch this live (like usual) and boy, did I miss out! So many returns! Lots of exciting new feuds are brewing. I got spoiled on some of the big stuff before even watching, so I guess it pays to watch live, doesn’t it? Let’s do this.

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Al: Starting off this episode was Vinny Macs Son in Law , The Game, Triple H and Stephanie, his ball and chain. These two never cease to entertain me. Especially Triple H. His role as the evil boss is easily as good as Vince McMahon 15 + years ago. He knows how to play an egotistical jerk better than anybody and people wonder why I put him in my top 5 of all time. Just study his career. It speaks for itself.

John Cena, the newly crowned Champ, comes out and as always is greeted with a mixed reaction. Triple H lets Cena know he will be competing in a tag match later in the main event with Roman Reigns against Randy Orton (yawn) and the devil’s favorite demon Kane. Just as Cena walks out, Rollins walks out with his Money in the Bank Briefcase in his grip. Rollins is playing his character well right now and his matches lately have been exceptional. But the real treat is Dean Ambrose.

Mitch: It’s easy to complain about guys like Cena and Triple H being around the titles, but it’s times like these that it’s much needed. Since Cena is only holding on to the straps until Brock Lesnar decides to come back, I’m cool with all of this.

The Authority tried to butter up Cena, acting like he’s on the cover of WWE 2K15 because that’ll get him to play along with their bidding. John’s too cool for all of this and that sets up the main event for Battleground in three weeks. Cena will face off in a fatal four way match against Roman Reigns, Kane, and Randy Orton. There will also be a tag team match later on between those four along face/heel lines. RVD and Seth Rollins is now.

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Al: After Seth Rollins defeats RVD in the first match of the night, Ambrose interrupts a post match interview with Rollins and let’s Seth know he’s not finished by a long shot with him. Ambrose is quickly becoming my favorite wrestler. Lots of people have been comparing him to the loose cannon Brian Pillman and that’s definitely high praise. His loose cannon character is very reminiscent to the late Pillman and Ambrose’s promos have exceeded Wyatt’s for me although Bray is still quite magical on the mic.

Mitch: Al’s right on the money about Dean. Ambrose is so good and the Shield breakup has helped him step into the spot light. He tells Seth that he’s going to be his spoiler for whenever he tries to cash in his briefcase. I like that; it’ll give real in-ring chances for this rivalry to have long-term heat. Dean can be just as much a part of Seth’s briefcase run as Seth is.

The Rollins/RVD match was good. I’ve been down on RVD for a while, but he works pretty hard at putting the young guys over. The match itself is good enough for me.

 

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Al: Here comes Rusev. Come on how can you not like this guy?! His mouthpiece, Lana, is probably the best part. She is always hilarious but this night she met her match with good ol’ Zeb Colter. He comes out with Jack Swagger and let’s Lana know he’s tired of her putting down the best country in the world. Swagger surprisingly manhandles Rusev and throws him out of the ring. A feud is born folks. Look for Swagger and Rusev to go at it. I’m glad These two will feud because they’re both enjoyable and fun to watch.

Mitch: Hulu cut this. Dang. I will look this up later because it looks awesome.

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Al: Next up is The Usos and Shaemus vs The Wyatt’s. Good solid match and a good win for the Wyatt’s. After the match Stephanie McMahon lets Nikki Bella know she’s got a handicapped match coming up against the Funkadactyls.

Mitch: I’m glad that Usos/Harper and Rowan is a feud that’s continuing. As much as I dislike the Usos, these two teams have really great chemistry when they step into the ring. And I typically think that Jimmy and Jey completely overuse the superkick for as bad they execute it, but one of them pulled one of those on Erick Rowan and it looked like it took poor Erick’s head off. It was a thing of beauty.

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Al: After the commercial, Bo Dallas comes out and asks the crowd for 60 seconds of silence for BNB and Daniel Bryan being injured. I’m sorry folks but this made me a Boliever!!! I thought this was beyond hillarious. And it would’ve been even funnier if the announcers would’ve shut up and respected Bos wishes. Funny stuff Bo. Just like Bad News Barrett, Bo Dallas is committed to his character and I’m a fan.

Mitch: I’ll actually disagree with you a little on this one, Al. I kind of thought that this was one of the weaker Bo segments. When the announcers made fun of it, I thought they were at least making light of how the moment of silence just wasn’t working. I’m still a Bo-Liever, but I wasn’t sold on sixty seconds of dead air time.

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Al: Nikki Bella fights the Funkadactyls and they win. Who cares?

Mitch: Haha, you’re too hard on them, Al. Right now, there’s two extremes of the women’s division. One extreme has Paige and A.J. (spoiler – she returns in a bit), who actually put on a performance that fans of wrestling can admire. The other extreme is whatever is going on with Summer Rae and Layla. They’re more eye candy. They satisfy the Total Divas segment of the audience. I think the Bellas and Naomi are falling closer the the Paige end of the spectrum. Maybe not Cameron, though. There was some actual wrestling in this. Hopefully a challenger to the Diva’s title can be groomed out of this group of ladies.

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Al: Next up is Paul Heymans guy Cesaro vs Kofi Kingston. Kofi won this match. Good win for Mr. Kingston but in his interview before the match he says he’s pulling for the intercontinental championship. Kofi you’ve been there done that. Shouldn’t your goal be for the heavyweight championship?

Mitch: Kofi gets a singles win that is actually meaningful and it’s cut from the Hulu version? Double darn.

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Al: So this week Sandow is None other than Vince McMahon. Until they quit this nonsense and give Sandow his character back that worked in the first place, then I’m not going to care about him anymore. Khali beats Sandow.

Mitch: I really enjoy the stupid Sandow characters. Triple dang, Hulu. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

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Al: So the surprise superstar was none other than Y2J himself! Chris Jericho is a first ballot Hall of a Famer and one of the best wrestlers ever. He got a great pop from the crowd right before he was attacked by none other than the Wyatt Family. If this leads to a Jericho/ Wyatt feud, that could be nothing but awesome.

Mitch: The Miz actually returned in this segment, too. I feel a little bad for him, because he was simply the swerve to make a big pop for the return everyone actually wanted to see. Having Jericho vs. Bray is a big money match. I can’t wait for them to do some pay-per-view fights. Jericho gets laid out via Sister Abigail.

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Al: Next couple matches were pretty boring with me. There’s only so many times I can watch Rybaxel vs The Dusts before I get the yawns. And please WWE! Do something with Fandango that is worth something!!!!!

Mitch: The Rybaxel stuff is the first thing that Hulu cut that I don’t plan on looking up. I did catch Ziggler vs. Fandango. I know this is nonsense storylines, but I’m intrigued now that Ziggler and Summer Rae are sort of together. I guess it’s just to make Fandango jealous, but I hope it lasts a while. I think they could be a power couple.

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Al: Paige vs AJ! Finally! Finally! Finally! My two favorite female wrestlers going at it! This was one of my favorite parts of the show. Weird huh? No, not really. This was a great match and AJ walked away with the title . I’m hoping this feud lasts a while.

Mitch: This was the night of returns and the crowd loved to see A.J. back. There were some CM Punk chants going on that Paige didn’t really know how to react to. She’ll have to deal with that if she plans on feuding with Mr. Punk. Paige looked frustrated as she dropped the title. I guess we can assume that she’ll be the heel in their rematch at battleground? I’m looking forward to it.

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Al: The main event was fantastic. Reigns and Cena picked up the win against Kane and Orton . Great Raw! I’m sure My pal Mitch enjoyed it as well. Leave comments below. That’ll make me happy.

Mitch: The main event was good. I’m not terribly excited about Kane and Orton in the title picture but it serves its purpose. I assume that Super-Cena will find a way to overcome the odds at Battleground so he can fight Lesnar for the title at Summerslam. I guess that’s still a big match even if it’s not for the title, but I’d bet that Cena has the belts going into it.

Final Thoughts by Mitch: Great Raw. There’s only three weeks until Battleground and a ton of groundwork has been laid for that event. This was an above average Raw that had a hot crowd. There were several returns that were huge crowd-pleasers. The near future of WWE looks to be good. I’ll wrap this column up with my usual awards:

Match of the Night: I liked the six-man between the Wyatts and the Usos plus Sheamus. The four tag teamers of those six work insanely well every time they go at it and it was my favorite match because of them.

Superstar of the Night: A.J.  Lee. Several people could’ve won this. But she had an exciting return AND a title victory. Good night for her.

Promo of the Night: Let’s give this to Ambrose. He said earlier in the night that he’s going to be the thorn in Rollins side. He later proved it in the main event.

Great night of wrestling. Expect Mitch and Al to play catchup and give a Money In The Bank review sometime later this week. Also, look for the weekly Mitch Nickelson Main Event review over at TJRWrestling.com. I’ve been lazy about re-posting those here.

Until next time, go watch an old Paul London match for me.

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