WWE Monday Night Raw Review - June 16th, 2014
The show started off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring like normal. They basically came out just to announce some matches for the night including a Battle Royal and John Cena vs. Kane in a Stretcher Match.
1) Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins
The series of matches these two have been having over the past few weeks has been so fun to watch. They are two of the most talented young stars on the roster so it's been a treat to watch them go at it each week. This was fantastic just like all of their other matches have been. Although this one didn't have a finish because Dean Ambrose ran in to attack Seth Rollins. I'm not complaining though because we got a solid 10-15 mins of Ziggler/Rollins beforehand and Ambrose attacking Rollins was so hype.
Ambrose got on the mic and cut one of his great promos basically challenging Rollins to a fight. Triple H came on the screen and said since Ambrose wants a fight, he'll give him one. And out comes Bad News Barrett!
2) Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
Wow! What a start to Raw! One quality match after another! A very physical brawl would be the best way to describe this. Barrett targeted the arm of Ambrose that was injured on Smackdown this past Friday by Bray Wyatt. I love how they brought that back up and made it the focal point of this match. Barrett pushed Ambrose off the top rope to the floor where Ambrose landed on the injured arm which led to an assault by Barrett on that arm using various maneuvers such as slamming him into the ring past. The two began engaging in a slugfest near the end which was epic, but before this one could have a decisive finish, Seth Rollins appeared on the announce table and jumped from the announce table to the ring apron! Ambrose and Rollins brawl into the crowd which results in Barrett getting a countout victory over Ambrose.
After the match, Ambrose attacks Barrett from behind and delivers his finisher that they are now calling "Dirty Deeds" which is basically him slamming Barretts face into the mat while sweeping his feet out from under him. Great match/segment PLUS Dean has his own entrance music!
Roman Reigns is seen backstage and he puts something into a cup of coffee that Vickie was taking to Stephanie McMahon. This was a solid segment that accomplished what it set out to do which was add another aspect to Reign's character with the comedy. Also gives people a reason to stay tuned and see what happens to Steph once she drinks the coffee.
Before I continue reviewing this show, I must say that this was the best first hour of Raw in a LONG time. Quality television from top to bottom. Let's see if WWE could keep it up heading into the second hour.
The second hour begins with The Wyatt Family! Bray cuts an amazing promo before being interrupted by Sheamus for their match.
3) Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus
This was a solid match. It wasn't as good as the previous two matches, but it was very entertaining none the less. The Usos ran down to back up Sheamus since Harper & Rowan were at ringside which added to the hype. This match ended with no finish as well after Harper grabbed Sheamus and a huge brawl broke out. A Ladder ended up being brough into play and The Usos BOTH ran up the same ladder that was leaned up against the ropes and dove off it onto The Wyatt Family! THAT WAS AWESOME! Another quality match/segment. The only complaint that could be made is that all the matches have ended in a no contest so far, but despite that it's been entertaining and the finishes for each match made sense. Storyline progression is just as important as match quality.
4) Rusev vs. Heath Slater
I expected the show to come to a screeching hault here, but Heath Slater saved the day with his hilarious promo before the match. In short, he told Rusev and Lana to go back to Russia. I've always been a fan of Heath, he's a funny guy and did his job well here and actually made this somewhat entertaining even though the match ended up being a complete squash like normal.
Then we got a backstage segment where Stephanie McMahon threw up on Vickie Guerrero because of what Roman put in her drink. Alot of people found this disgusting, but it was so easy to tell that it wasn't really puke. I honestly found it hilarious. Vickie stood there screaming for like a minute straight. I feel another "You're Fired!" coming next week.
5) Battle Royal - Winner Gets Spot in the WWE Championship Match at Money In The Bank
The battle royal was your basic battle royal. Not that entertaining until the closing moments in which Reigns dominated much like he did at the Royal Rumble. The face off between Rusev and Reigns near the end was epic and did more for Rusev than anything he's been involved in so far. It just proves my point that Rusev needs to be placed with more credible talent for anyone to care about him at all. Reigns ends up winning by eliminating Rusev! Entertaining and a good story was told. That story being Reigns getting into the Money In The Bank Ladder Match despite Triple H's attempt to keep him out of it.
6) Adam Rose & Summer Rae vs. Fandango & Layla
Eh, the first true dud of the evening. Layla & Summer Rae were the only somewhat intriguing part of this match and they chased each other out of the arena early on. Kevin Hart danced with Adam Rose afterwards. Complete nonsense that shouldn't have even been included on the show in my opinion.
7) Paige vs. Cameron
I've been so disappointed as to how WWE has handled Paige's Divas Title run so far. The Alicia Fox storyline was decent, but her reign has been boring as a whole and it's not her fault. WWE has booked her terribly and given her nothing to work with. Naomi would have been the perfect opponent for Paige here, but instead they choose Cameron he isn't that good in the ring. But I do think there is light at the end of the tunnel. Naomi looked disgruntled with Cameron's crazy antics during the match such as repeatedly slapping Paige so maybe Naomi and Cameron break up then Cameron joins Alicia Fox and forms a crazy diva tag team. I honestly wouldn't mind that. It'd be much more interesting then the Funkadactyls thing. Either way, let's hope WWE does SOMETHING to make the Divas Division interesting again.
8) Goldust & Stardust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
After a week of speculation on who Cody picked as Goldust's new partner, it was finally time to see who it was and - it's Stardust. Basically just Cody dressed up as Goldust. That was a surprise. I honestly don't know how to feel about it just yet. As long as this is a short term angle, I'm completely fine with it, I just don't want Cody to compete under the Stardust character for the rest of the career. Besides that, I hope the two win the tag team titles again. I could see that happening eventually and then them finally splitting when the time is right as Cody can say that Goldust made him look like an idiot for dressing up like that and so on. So after some thought, this was a good move if WWE handles it right. It really breathes a breath of fresh air into the Rhodes Bros as a team. Now give them the tag titles!
9) John Cena vs. Kane - Stretcher Match
Entertaining main event match here with some cool spots. The interference from Ambrose, Rollins, and Randy Orton was a nice touch to add to the hype of the match. Although the ending was predictable (Cena won), it was a fun main event.
Overall thoughts: This week's Raw was MUCH better than last week's. I think it was honestly the best show since the Night After Mania. It wasn't as good as that show, but it was way better than any show since then. The first hour and a half was amazing. It showed that the future is now and that all the guys involved deserve a position at the top (Ambrose, Rollins, Ziggler, Barrett, Reigns, Wyatt Family, Usos.) It was all fresh, quality TV. After that, it was pretty solid although it dropped off a bit in some spots (Rose/Fandango, Paige/Cameron), but for the most part it was a pretty consistent show. Vast improvement from last week. I hope WWE can build off this and create an even better show next week, especially since it's the go home show for Money In The Bank. They certainly have enough interesting storylines to do so.