WWE Monday Night Raw Review - June 23rd 2014
The show opens up with Stephanie McMahon and Vickie Guerrero. This was actually a very enjoyable segment. Stephanie challenges Vickie to a match later in the night and if she wins, she won't get fired. Vickie quotes Eddie by saying she knows how to lie, cheat, and steal then accepts her challenge. The crowd gets heavily behind Vickie for the first time in forever! Great opening segment despite my original thoughts on these two opening the show. When this was announced, I was like "Why are they opening with Stephanie & Vickie when they have a PPV to build toward that doesn't involve either of them?" Well, this turned out pretty good so I can't complain.
The Usos came out next followed by Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. They had new theme music that sounded pretty odd. It was a harmonica or something playing the rhythm of "He's got the whole world in his hands" which was pretty cool, but then again it doesn't make sense. Bray started singing that about John Cena so why should it be the theme song of Rowan & Harper when it has nothing to do with them? Hopefully they'll do some work on their theme soon.
The first match was very quick between Harper and Jimmy Uso. Harper picked up a quick squash victory. Then Erick Rowan faced off against Jey Uso.
1) Erick Rowan vs. Jey Uso
This match was longer than the one involving Harper, but it was still rather short. Despite that, it was pretty entertaining. Uso gets the win and chaos ensues after the match between the two teams as they brawl around ringside. Great way to get everyone excited for their match at Money In The Bank.
2) Alicia Fox vs. Naomi
Didn't pay much attention to the match because I was too busy listening to the commentary as Paige went back and forth with Cameron. Naomi put an impressive performance as usual here though from what I saw. Excited for the second match between Paige and Naomi at Money In The Bank!
3) Bo Dallas vs. Titus O'Neil
They replayed Titus getting beaten by Adam Rose twice from Smackdown which immediately annoyed me. I was excited when they separated Titus from Darren Young because I thought that meant he would get a push, but it's been the exact opposite. They should have just kept the Prime Time Players together if they were gonna waste Titus like this. Despite that, this was pretty enjoyable. Dallas is growing on me. Him checking on Titus afterwards then Titus slapping the mic out of his hands was hilarious. Bo calling him "butter fingers" was gold as well. So my personal opinion of Titus aside, this was an entertaining segment.
Triple H came out next to announce the participants for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match for the actual contract. Nice field of stars. Hunter proceeds to bring out Seth Rollins and talks about how he will win the match. Rob Van Dam who is in the match as well came out to confront Rollins & HHH. This ends up setting up a match between RVD & Rollins.
4) Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins
Fun match here as always with both of these guys. Rollins hit a brutal curb stomp planting Van Dam's head into the mat. As he covered Van Dam, Ambrose hit the ring and attacked Rollins. I love the way they've been booking Ambrose lately. He runs off the announce table and jumps on Rollins before being seperated by referees. Ambrose gets on the mic and demands to be added to the MITB match at the PPV or he will crash the show.
Backstage, Triple H adds Ambrose to the match after Rollins asks for it because he wants to be able to keep his eye on Ambrose so he doesn't screw him out of the match.
5) Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler - Intercontinental Championship Match
These two had a really good match a few months during the IC Title tournament so I was excited for this one. Needless to say, these guys put on an even better match than their previous encounter. This was a fantastic match. The crowd was into it and hung on every move. Several close near falls that kept everyone on the edge of their set and the ending was epic as Ziggler ran and jumped in the air only to recieve a massive bullhammer elbow to the head. Barrett wins an awesome match! One of the best TV matches of the year so far.
Vickie Guerrero came out for her match to Eddie Guerrero's old music. Man, it was so good to hear "Viva La Raza" and his music play again. I miss seeing Eddie compete so much and I'm sure he was smiling down on Vickie during this segment. I actually found this really entertaining even though I normally hate stuff like this. This ended up being a pudding "match" I guess you could say because the only way to win was to throw your opponent in a pool of pudding near the stage. Stephanie stacked the odds against Vickie by sending several divas out after her, but Vicke threw them in the pool. Stephanie then attacked Vickie from behind and threw her in the pool to win. Stephanie fires Vickie, but she didn't get the last word as Vickie threw Stephanie, who was in a dress, into the pool of pudding! The crowd goes nuts! Great segment and send off for Vickie as she stands at the top of the ramp and does Eddie's pose. Memorable moment, thanks Vickie!
Hilarious backstage segment from Goldust and Stardust happened around this time. I had mixed feelings on Stardust to begin with, but it's definitely grown on me. Very funny segment, interested to see how well the Stardust gimmick gets over in the future.
6) Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
This was actually a solid match despite what many people might have thought going into it. Swagger is a favorite of mine and Kofi is always fun to watch, so it was no surprise to me. Hard fought bout in which Swagger came out victorious, but he paid a price as his nose got cut open during the match.
7) Damien Sandow vs. Big E
The ridiculous gimmicks for Sandow continue. As a big fan of his, this got on my nerves. Another squash match here. Afterwards Big E called out Rusev, but ended up getting locked in the camel clutch. Good storyline development and way to continue the Big E/Rusev feud. Only complaint is how badly WWE is misusing Damien Sandow.
8) Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Randy Orton, & Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena, Roman Reigns, & Sheamus
Although this was a rematch from Smackdown, it was an entertaining main event. It wasn't anything out of this world though. Pretty basic pace until near the end when everything broke down into chaos with all seven men going for their finishers on each other. Sheamus gets the pin on Cesaro to pick up the win for his team. Good main event.
After the match, Kane comes out and cleans house then is announced as the 8th man in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE Title. Good way to close the show. I actually almost predicted this to happen earlier in the night on Twitter, but I said it would be Brock Lesnar to do it and not Kane. Atleast I was partially right haha.
Overall thoughts: I didn't have alot of confidence going into tonight's show considering it was the final show before MITB and only 3 matches were announced. In fact, I had a bad attitude towards WWE, but they managed to put on a show that I really enjoyed. Last week's was good, but this one was an even bigger improvement. I enjoyed everything on this show except Damien Sandow and Titus O'Neil being used as jobbers, but that wasn't a surprise as they've been used like that for weeks now. Several good matches tonight including an awesome match between Ziggler and Barrett. The Vickie/Stephanie stuff was great. The main event was solid and there was a nice twist at the end. Great show.