Monday, June 22, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - June 22nd, 2015

Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman address their return & Seth Rollins
This. was. gold. It's so awesome having both Brock AND Heyman back on Raw. I missed everything about the duo from Brock's presence to Heyman's promos. Here we got a little of both of those things showcased in fantastic fashion. Heyman killed it with the mic work and Brock's apologies to JBL & Michael Cole were hilarious to watch take place as he ended up putting Cole in a headlock and rubbing him on the head. Best opening segment in a while albeit your typical Lesnar/Heyman stuff. It just never gets old.

Segment rating - ****

1) Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

On paper, you'd probably go "ugh" at this, but it actually wasn't bad at all. Then again, I'm easier on Kane than most because I actually don't mind him. Between him being solid and not trying to do more or less than he should and Ambrose just being awesome at what he does, this was an enjoyable little bout. I loved the finish where Rollins came out and helped Kane win. Most hated it and were outraged which is understandable when you look at this on the surface. However, if you look at it from a storyline perspective it's perfect. Rollins is trying to get back on Kane's good side so he does this. Plus, this also re establishes the never ending feud between Ambrose & Rollins that I expect to last their entire careers. And to top it off, Kane hit a chokeslam off the top turnbuckle so Ambrose wouldn't look weak. It was a screwy victory anyway so it will just garner sympathy towards Dean.

Match rating - **3/4

2) Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension

I was hyped to see PTP come out then I was bummed to find out their opponents were The Ascension. It was still enjoyable though thanks to Titus & Darren. Hell, Viktor of The Ascension even got a good line in by flooring Titus and yelling "Who's your daddy now?" For the most part it was quality Prime Time Players stuff though. Titus gets more entertaining by the week. From the urra urra to a set of vicious chops, he showed out here. Darren impressed me alot here as well by breaking out alot of unique moves. Briding northern lights suplex, spinning roaring elbow, gut buster with his knees - Darren Young killed it here. Fun stuff, PTP looked great.

Match rating - **1/2

3) Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus

Sheamus comes out early and meets PTP in the aisle way. MINI STAREDOWN BETWEEN TITUS AND SHEAMUS! Someone book that match! It was something most people ignored and didn't notice, but I loved the subtle foreshadowing. Reigns comes out and Sheamus immediately tries to charge him as soon as he jumps the barricade. The ref holds him back on the apron. This one feels intense from the get go. I really anticipated this one for whatever reason. They both work such an in your face style that I expected something good and that's what we got. Solid rib work from Sheamus, some unique counters with Sheamus nailing Reigns with a clotheline when he attempted the apron dropkick, and that running crossbody onto the announce table from Reigns to Sheamus?!? Just as things were heating up with Reigns' comeback, Bray Wyatt comes on the screen and is having a tea party. Reigns accepts his invitation and runs backstage. Match over, I guess? Meh.

Match rating - **3/4

Reigns is wandering backstage and finds the room Wyatt was in. He hears him talking and sees "Anyone but you" written on the wall with a bunch of pictures of him. Creepy stuff, but if anyone has been watching WWE in the past year, it's the seem stuff that always leads nowhere and means almost nothing therefore it's hard to get into.

4) Neville vs. Kofi Kingston
I wanted these two to get 10-12 minutes at least, but no. We get New Day yelling at ringside which leads to them getting kicked out, which was fine until the match ended moments later. I doubt fans even got a chance to truly soak in Big E & Xavier Woods getting thrown it because Neville threw a kick, went up top, hit the Red Arrow and got the win. Why not throw in a roll up near fall for Neville followed by a high impact sequence of manuevers before the ultimate finish? Atleast make this worth something, ya know? I liked the PTP showdown bit to protect Neville though. It just didn't last long enough.

Match rating - **

5) Bad News Barrett vs. Zack Ryder

BNB isn't facing R-Truth? SHOCKER! Ryder was a nice change of pace opponent for him although the fans seemed like they could have cared less despite Zack getting a fair amount of his offense in. Truth cuts a promo on how he's the true king prior to the match which was kind of funny yet sad at the same time because Barrett's KOTR win was possibly the worst of all time because he has done NOTHING even slightly noteworthy since. He picks up the win here and no one cares. Woo. That prestigious King of the Ring tournament, man.

Match rating - **

John Cena returns to Raw

You already know this was good. C'mon, its John Cena and Kevin Owens going toe to toe on the mic. Cena gets his signature lines in before Kev interrupts and reiterates that he wants a US Title Match. Owens speaks in French for the first time ever which was weird at first then Cena responds in French AND Chinese, apparently. Bottom line is that Cena accepts Owens' challenge and the match is *almost* set for Battleground as Cole says it needs to be confirmed by The Authority first.

Segment rating - ***1/4

6) The Bella Twins vs. Naomi & Tamina

Basic Divas stuff. I don't even feel like covering it. I'll just say, so much for that "Just keep watching" tweet from Vince in response to the Give Divas A Chance trend/movement on Twitter.

Match rating - **

7) Ryback vs. Mark Henry

"A SPLASH BY RYBACK!" - that's all you really need to know about this match. It was pretty dull aside from Ryback's charismatic stuff. Show got fired up on commentary a few times was funny if you're in a light hearted mood. The only true highlight here was Ryback's big splash off the top rope which was a first for him. I have to give major props to The Big Guy for making the most out of the tough situations he's been put in since becoming champ.

Match rating - **1/4

Mark Henry and Big Show have a little confrontation afterwards. Show scolds him for losing then leaves. We head backstage afterwards and Ryback is getting interviewed. I've been praising his promo game and I'll continue to. He reminds me of a throwback "superstar" from the old days of WWF. He just has a good presence and voice to him. Big Show approaches him and they get into an exchange of words. Ryback says he's all talk and no action which leads to a brawl. I got more of a kick out of this than I should've. Ryback ends up throwing Show into the wall and into some poles and stuff.

8) Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) vs. Adam Rose (w/ Rosa Mendes)
I was planning to give this my full attention then Rose "showed Dolph true love" by excessively making out with Rosa and I muted the TV. There are so many talented people in this match. Dolph, Adam, & Lana could all be in quality roles, instead they're here representing the side of WWE that I can't stand. Soap opera drama that makes everyone say "WWE/wrestling is fake" in the worst way possible. Blah.

Match rating - *

Seth Rollins asks Kane, Jamie Noble, & Joey Mercury for forgiveness / Brock Lesnar interrupts

I loved this closing segment. You had a pretty basic idea of what would happen going in, you just didn't which exact way it would go which made for sort of an unpredictable feel. An unpredictable feel with Brock Lesnar means epic TV. Lesnar & Kane having an exchange was pretty cool to see. It looks like The Authority is back together, atleast this part of the group. This segment just means we're gonna get Brock destroying all these guys at some point soon so I can't wait for that. Good way to make Rollins look strong (in a heelish way) after weeks of him looking like a flop.

Segment rating - ***3/4

Overall thoughts:
Average show this week. Brock Lesnar and Cena/Owens were the best parts of the night with guys like Titus, Darren, & Ryback doing the best with what they had and made what they were involved in very enjoyable to watch. Everything else was pretty much filler and nothing worth watching. Even Reigns/Sheamus which was a solid match isn't worth looking at because it doesn't have a finish. I hope they atleast take a step up on the forthcoming Raw's before the PPV. They can skid by with Raw's like these which successfully build the top matches with entertaining segments however if they want a really strong & intriguing Battleground, they're gonna need to string together some better stuff in the under/mid card of these TV offerings.

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