Wrestling

The RAW Report – 6/23/2014

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Monday Night Raw, live from Washington D.C., began with Stephanie McMahon coming down to the ring. She called out Vickie Guerrero, and tells her that she couldn’t do anything right. She points out that she let Roman Reigns not only compete in, but win the battle royal last week. This, after Stephanie and her husband stated specifically that Roman would not be competing in the match at all. But her biggest gripe with Vickie seemed to be that she botched her coffee order and made her ill. Yes, I had to explain this to my mother, that Steph was mad because of coffee. Coffee. That thing that WWE insists on using as a plot device over and over again. Not since the days of Chris Jericho accidentally spilling the liquid on Kane, or Eve Torres spitting iced coffee on Teddy Long, have Colombian ground beans been the talk of the WWE Universe.

In order for Vickie Guerrero to save her job, Stephanie McMahon makes her grovel and beg. Hey, at least it’s a step up from the last time Vickie was in the ring with the McMahons, and she was dressed down by every member of the family. After some groveling, Stephanie decides to give her a chance, and says that she’ll save Vickie’s job if she agrees to a match with her. Then, in a moment that was pretty awesome, Vickie reminds everyone that she is a Guerrero and that if Eddie taught her anything, it was to lie, cheat and steal. This got a reaction from the seemingly dead crowd that was pretty much asleep up until this point. Once again, WWE tries to use Eddie’s name to further some weird storyline of theirs involving a member of the Guerrero Family.

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After a mediocre match between one of the Usos and a member of the Wyatt Family, we see the other Uso wrestle the other Wyatt. This after the Wyatts came out came out to what sounded like a Polka version of “He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands.” None of this mattered because it was all a lead up to Bray Wyatt delivering another one of his tremendous promos… from the back, more than likely pre-recorded. The crowd, of course, ate it up. The thing about the Wyatt Family is that they have the same effect on the WWE fans that the Ministry of Darkness had way back in 1999. What was built up as a faction of bad guys, eventually became cheered by the masses. The Ministry attacked Vince McMahon, which was supposed to make people feel sorry for him. Instead, the opposite happened. That’s what’s happening now with the Wyatts.

Next we see a pretty weak video package of Rusev and Lana. I took a cereal break.

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The divas then came out. What was originally supposed to be built up as Cameron vs Paige is actually turning into Naomi vs Paige at Money in the Bank. In tonight’s match, however, we got Alicia Fox vs Naomi. I love both women, so I didn’t know who to root for. On commentary we heard two women that have no idea how to talk trash. Cameron mentioned that she is not riding Naomi’s “Coke-tails,” and then she talked some school yard trash to Paige. Instead of firing back, Paige just scoffed and laughed it off. In this instance Paige was like that kid in middle school getting picked on while on the bus and not knowing how to properly react. However, Cameron comes off weak, and is as much of a bully as Jared from Subway. Cameron spends the rest of her time subtly bashing Naomi as we are obviously getting ready for the Funkadactyls to finally split. I’m glad, because Ms. Knight needs to stay as far away from that charisma draining Plecos Fish of a human being, Cameron. PS: Naomi won the match, then shook hands with Paige, as Paige held up the WWE Divas Championship for all to see. You know, just like AJ Lee held up the Divas Championship for 295 days.

Oh, look, a commercial for Hercules, starring The Rock. He is so awesome in mov… Oh, wait, directed by Bret Ratner.

After a recap of the Titus O’Neil and Adam Rose segment from last week, we see Bo Dallas in the ring. Don’t ask me who he wrestled, because I honestly wasn’t paying attention. All I know is that he ended by telling us that all we have to do is Bo-Lieve!

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Triple H comes down and explains to us how the Money in the Bank contract works. This is like old Royal Rumbles when Howard Finkel would tell us the rules of the Rumble match, even though we had been watching them for years. He then announces the participants in this year’s traditional MITB match: Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, and, after a horrible #BNB impression, Wade Barrett! Triple H then tells us that his favorite in the match is indeed Rob Van… Oops, Seth Rollins! Rollins and his Sportscenter clip music theme song come down. I’m glad that Seth Rollns is no longer wearing his Shield flak jacket and pants. Instead, he’s wearing one of those D-bag Affliction shirts that TNA D-bags wear. He is wearing some cool new leather pants. He tells the WWE Universe to move on and get over his screwing of The Shield. He claims responsibility for the success of his former team, calling his former mates dead weight. He says he has every right to destroy The Shield. I mean, he is former ROH champion Tyler Black, after all.

Rob Van Dam interrupts. He says no one takes him serious. Seth says that he’d take him serious if this were 2005 (Oh, snap). RVD reminds everyone that he is a former MITB winner and WWE Champion. He reminds HHH that he crushed his trachea at the first ever Elimination Chamber. RVD then offers to beat Seth Rollins right now. Hunter thinks about it, and the match commences! After coming back from commercial Michael Cole forgets he’s on the USA Network, not the WWE Network. Poor Maggle! The commentary team teases a MITB cash-in on the same night that a new WWE champion is crowned.

For a match that started out with two men angry with each other, RVD vs Seth Rollins was rather grounded and slow from the beginning. Van Dam eventually got around to doing his patented moves of doom. He tries to do the Five Star Frog Splash, but is thwarted by Rollins. He later tries again, but Rollins moves out of the way. Rollins connects with the Curb Stomp, but as he goes for the pin, Dean Ambrose, in his Jon Moxley attire, disrupts things and causes a disqualification. He unloads on Rollins over and over, and all I can think of is where is HHH? Did he just go to the back after he announced the match, forgetting that there is a madman chasing after his golden boy?

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After running Rollins off, Ambrose grabs the mic and says that The Authority had better put him in the MITB match because he’s gonna be in Boston for the match no matter what, and he will walk away with the briefcase, even if he isn’t on the card. Ish just got real! Now I am officially hyped for this Money in the Bank match. All of my money!

Backstage, Rollins begs HHH to put Ambrose in the MITB match so he can keep his eye on him, and see the look on his face when he crushes his dreams and wins that contract. HHH says it will all be on Rollins if it blows up in his face. He then reluctantly agrees to put him in the match, making Dean Ambrose the 7th man.

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#BNB comes out to a rous… mediocre response. He says that Dolph Ziggler will be so embarrassed after losing tonight and next Sunday that he will be forced to change his name, just like D.C.’s racist, losing football team. Good local heat. I like it. We see a recap of Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown defeating Wade Barrett to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Championship tonight. The match begins hot and heavy. Ziggler just goes cover happy against Barrett. This is the man that held the MITB briefcase for 268 days, eventually cashing it in, but then giving it up because of a head injury. The man is just now regaining his momentum. Dolph looks to be in the zone during this match. He hits the Zig Zag on Barrett, but also hurts himself in the process. After the commercial Dolph gets back on the offensive, dropping elbows on Barrett’s prone body. Barrett then throws Ziggler to the outside and gives him the classic Cactus Jack elbow.

After a few more near falls the match continues. Ziggler goes up to the top and gives Barrett what looks like a reverse X-Factor off the turnbuckle. JBL reminds everyone that Ziggler gave the WWE Universe one of its most exciting MITB cash-ins last year on the Raw after Mania. The crowd chants “This is awesome,” and then Barrett delivers his Wasteland slam. After a near fall, and a missed Bull hammer, Ziggler recovers and gives Barrett the Zig Zag, but Barrett kicks out. Ziggler rushes Barrett, and he’s finally able to unleash the Bull hammer elbow, and pins Dolph Ziggler after a very exciting match. I like matches like this on Raw, because they bring back a bit of prestige and shine to the Intercontinental Championship by having it defended in such an intense manner, and not a silly pole match or hit your opponent with a bag of popcorn match.

Renee Young interviews Vickie Guerrero, and she says she is tired of being The Authority’s doormat. She has no regrets and is ready for Stephanie McMahon. Randy Orton comes out and says that tonight Vickie is going to get exactly what she deserves. Jerry Lawler whispers to us all that Vickie Guerrero vs Stephanie McMahon is next.

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Vickie Guerrero comes out to Eddie Guerrero’s Lie, Cheat, Steal theme song. It freaked me out a little bit. Stephanie McMahon comes out in the same dress she was wearing earlier, unlike Vickie, who is in the ring with sporty gear. Stephanie says that they are not wrestling in the ring, but on the stage. Also, the first of them to go into this weird brown liquid pool will lose. She then calls out some heel divas to get Vickie. Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, and Leyla El come after Vickie. They finally grab her and take her toward the pool. She somehow overpowers the women and throws Rosa in the pool. She sideswipes Leyla as she goes diving in the pool. Alicia Fox struggles with Vickie, and eventually she gets tossed in too, leaving Vickie alone with Stephanie, who finally is able to toss a distracted Vickie into the pool. Stephanie then fires Vickie Guerrero, and leads everyone in a rendition of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”. As revenge, Vickie tosses Stephanie in the pool, as she has nothing to lose. The crowd sold it horribly, by the way. Man, this crowd is super awful. Vickie leaves the stage to Eddie’s music, as she is most definitely going away for good this time, according to backstage reports. This was not a good exit, by the way. WWE could have handled it much better than this, and this crowd could have been way better. We go to commercial with Stephanie tossing a referee into the pool and walking away with her body full of gunk.

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A recap of Stardust is shown. Creepy that Stardust really does look like a young version of Goldust. I love the story of the two brothers, Cody and Dustin. They grew up separate from each other and for years there was a lot of resentment of Cody on Dustin’s part. Now that they have finally come together and little brother is emulating big brother, I find the whole thing beautiful. Goldust is interviewed, and Stardust appears, singing “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Goldust quips that now he is the normal one.

Jack Swagger wrestles Kofi Kingston next. The best thing about this match is Uncle Zeb’s sign “The best Defense is a Fence.” Brilliant!

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Damien Sandow, who has been appearing in goofy costumes later, probably at the behest of the McMahon Family’s prank department, comes out as Abraham Lincoln. I think it’s time for another cereal break. Wait, Big E. comes out and I think we have a match. Yes, we do. And yes, Sandow is wrestling in the coat and top hat. After a one minute match, Big E. gives Sandow the Big E. Buster and it’s all over for Honest Sandow. After the match goes into southern preacher mode and goes on a patriotic rant against Rusev and Lana. The Ravishing Russian comes out, does her booty showing twirl, and distracts Big E. long enough for Rusev to get the jump on him and beat him down.

The main event is a 4 on 3 handicap match between the good guy MITB participants and the bad guy MITB participants. This is the exact same match that we saw on Smackdown.

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The commentary team reminds us that this is episode number 1,100 of Monday Night Raw. With only 15 minutes left of air time, they spend at least 5 of them on entrances, and then a commercial break. The match itself is rather mediocre and ordinary. The match ends and Kane comes down and beats everyone up. HHH comes out and announces Kane as the 8th participant in the Championship MITB match this Sunday.

Go-home Raws are supposed to be something to help build up a pay-per-view to gain last minute interest, but this time I have no idea of any matches going on outside of the two ladder matches and the Divas Championship match. Rusev vs Big E., maybe? I don’t know! Decent Raw overall, but nothing to write home about when it comes to must-see moments outside of the Barrett vs Ziggler match.

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