Thoughts On Raw for July 7th, 2014

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Less than two weeks remains until WWE’s next big show, Battleground. Things are taking shape with plans already set for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the Intercontinental Championship. Lots of exciting returns happened last week, including the always fantastic Chris Jericho. Will Bray and his family continue to be a thorn in his side this week? I’m Mitch Nickelson and I’m hear to recap and opine about the night’s events. Lets get to the show!

(Note: Al N. Jaxson had full intentions of reviewing with Mitch Nickelson this week, but suffered an unfortunate power outage while he was writing his review. If he goes for it again and finishes his review, this post will be update.)

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Rollins Opening Promo; Kane Interrupts

Mitch: Raw took a bit of a gamble and let Roman Reigns do a solo promo to start the show. He’s lacking in the vocal arena and it shows a little. He mentioned that the Authority was not there and built up his upcoming title match at Battleground. Kane came out and stared at him from atop the entrance ramp. Roman bad mouthed him and used the B-word on him. There goes the PG rating. Or not, people really don’t hold WWE accountable for those slips and it’s annoying for those of us who’d like to watch with our young children. Also, it feels like letting Roman use a curse word is a substitute for actually developing his personality. If he has heat with Kane, tell the story with plot development.

But the two brawled around the ring and had to be separated by officials from backstage. Finlay was shoving on Roman and got a spear for his efforts.

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Harper & Rowan vs. The Usos

Mitch: I was excited to see these two teams fight, because they have great chemistry together and I’m loving this extended rivalry. I’m not excited about the Uso’s entrance, though. That tribal chant into a hip hop doodad still annoys me.

The crowd was really hot for this match. There were several great near-fall attempts and a couple of “This is awesome” chants, which was well deserved. Luke Harper did a massive clothesline on the not-legal Uso for the win. They complained to the ref about that after the fact because he’s apparently racist for thinking that all Samoans look alike. It doesn’t help them that they dress identically. They should wear name tags.

Winners: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan

Kane, Orton, and (sort of) Rollins Have Each Others Backs

Mitch: Randy Orton and Kane are backstage and they affirm that they have each other’s backs. Seth Rollins shows up, MITB briefcase in hand, and says that if either of those two win and Battleground then he’ll think twice about cashing in on them.

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Rusev (w/Lana) vs. RVD

Mitch: I’m glad that Lana’s schtick about Putin works with our Canadian neighbors, too. Zeb Colter challenged Rusev via a pre-taped promo that popped up during this match. He told Rusev to step out from behind his commie skirt and fight Jack Swagger at Battleground. I’m looking forward to that match.

The match was a little slow. RVD is more than the average jobber that Rusev faces, so he got more time. It dragged on a little at time. RVD failed at his Rolling Thunder attempt, which set up Rusev’s kick then Accolade finish. The announcers ask if Rusev will accept Zeb’s challenge. My guess is yes.

Winner: Rusev

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Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose

Mitch: Ambrose’s mannerisms are so good. As the match is starting, the smaller and still injured (shoulder) Ambrose taunts Orton like a crazy person. He’s making his gimmick work so well in part because he comes across as fearless.

I like JBL, but when Dean applied the Figure Four he said that it was out of respect to Bret Hart. He then said that Bret won a ton of matches with that submission. Bret Hart used the Sharpshooter, JBL, not the Figure Four. I’m kind of disappointed that no one called him on it either. It made the whole announce team look stupid.

There was a noticeable botch midway through the match. Dean jumped off of the top rope and just landed on his feet, staring at the back of Randy’s head. Randy turned around and the the fight went on. It looked like Dean was expecting Randy to turn around and kick him on landing and Randy just forgot or something.

The match was good, minus my two previous rants. Dean acted like a lunatic and started throwing chairs into the ring at one point. Orton did one of his DDT’s with Ambrose’s feet on the outside barricade. The crowd really appreciated it. Randy Orton hit his RKO for the win.

Winner: Randy Orton

Renee Young Interviews John Cena, Roman Interrupts

Mitch: The crowd immediately booed loudly for the WWE World Heavyweight champion. John talked about having a target on him and that he doesn’t have to be the one to lose at Battleground for his titles to change hands. Roman interrupts and talks way too softly. Not sure what he said. I don’t really want to rewind to find out, really. He’s lucky he does a pretty mean Superman Punch.

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Jerry Lawler Introduces Bret Hart, Bret SANDHart Interrupts

Mitch: The last time Jerry Lawler was in Montreal, he suffered a pretty big heart attack. The crowd gave him respect for being back in the ring, healthy. They gave a big ovation for Bret as he made his way to the ring.

Bret said that if he could wrestle one more match, he’d do it in Montreal. Damien Sandow comes out in Bret Hart garb and looks hilarious at it. He makes fun of the screw-job and calls it an elaborate conspiracy and says that Canada is a third world country. He says that Bret regrets never being in the ring with the great Damien Sandow. Bret Hart decks him out of the ring. Funny segment, but I’m still lamenting the disaster that his Damien Sandow’s career.

Renee Young Interviews The Miz

Mitch: I like The Miz’s heel antics. He’s just acting like heel Jericho, which is good. He reads a note from a fan and keeps calling himself a movie star. He doesn’t want anyone to mess up his movie star face. The fan’s name that wrote the letter is named Johnny Russo. Surely the writers were thinking of Vince Russo when they thought up that name. I wonder what the connection might be.

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Chris Jericho vs. The Miz

Mitch: If I had to name my favorite entrance music of any wrestler, ever, I’d probably have to say it’s Jericho’s. I like how The Miz acts so concerned about protecting his movie star face. It gives a dynamic to the match without trying too hard. Jericho popped Miz in the face to set up the Walls of Jericho.

After the match, a sea of cell phone lights lit up the arena. Bray Wyatt was in his rocking chair with a microphone. He told Jericho that he will hold his every word against him. He will never, eeeever, let him forget. Jericho retorted by agreeing that actions speak louder than words. He made his way from the ring toward Bray. Before he could get there, Harper and Rowan joined him and that stopped Jericho cold.

Winner: Chris Jericho

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AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Funkadactyls

Mitch: Paige insisted on introducing her partner, mockingly calling AJ “our” Diva’s champion. Cameron refused a tag from Naomi at one point, continuing their heat. Cameron applied lipstick at one point while Naomi tried to tag out. When she finally tagged out, she did so without using the tag rope. Kudos to Michael Cole for pointed that out. Paige and AJ won when Paige hit her Paige Turner finisher. Those two work well together as a tag team.

Post-match, Naomie and Cameron finally went through with the disintegration of the Funkadactyls. Naomi hits stiff. I felt bad for Cameron for how hard it looked like Naomi was hitting her.

Seth Rollins approaches John Cena Backstage

Mitch: Seth says that their match tonight is about who’s the best. He tells John that his days are numbered. Cena, in a “civilized” way, tells him he’s full of crap. John says that the briefcase is no guarantee that Seth will be champion. The only guarantee that Seth has is that he has a match tonight with a champion.

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John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (Non-Title)

Mitch: John Cena got a ton of boos as he came out. I know that I ton of people dislike Cena and the fact that he’s champ again, but who gets reactions like that? The guy is money, love him or hate him.

The match was lively. The crowd was chanting lots of fun things, like “Fruity Pebbles” and “You Sold Out.” As Cena applied the STF in the middle of the ring, Kane’s music hit. Cena watched as he was coming down the ramp, but Orton came through the crowd and struck him from behind. Disqualification in favor of Cena.

They both were making waste of Cena when Roman Reign’s music started. He came down to the ring and Superman punched Orton and Kane. Rollins took him out from behind with his briefcase. He also took out Cena with his briefcase, too. He realized that he had a chance to cash in and called to the back for a ref to come out.

Referee Charles Robinson ran out. Before Seth could get his title match started, Dean Ambrose came from the crowd to thwart him. They brawled backstage. Cena struck Orton with the AA and Roman hit Kane with a spear. Cena and Roman had a mildly uncomfortable standoff, but chose to raise each other’s hand victoriously instead.

Winner: John Cena

Final Thoughts:

Mitch: I read spoilers that this night of Raw was only so-so, but I really liked it. The Montreal crowd was very lively and that makes everything better. Here are my awards of the show…

Match of the Night: Usos vs. Harper Rowan. Great opener to the show. Sometimes these four seem a little bland because they fight so much, but this was one of those nights where it worked really well.

Promo of the Night: Bray Wyatt. This category almost always goes to Bray Wyatt or Dean Ambrose. I was really feeling Bray’s rocking chair verbal assault on Chris Jericho. This is a feud that I keep looking forward to.

Superstar of the Night: Seth Rollins. Not only was his main event match really good, he had a couple of standout backstage pieces. He placed distrust among his allies, Orton and Kane, and had a solid exchange with Cena before their match. He’s stepping into his bigger role and looking like he belongs there.

Keep following me on twitter @MitchNickelson and comment below if you want to keep up the conversation. I’ll see you back here and at TJRWrestling.com whenever my weekly Main Event review posts.

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