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WWE Monday Night RAW - June 29, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- Feels like forever since I’ve covered anything regarding new WWE programming. Not only have I neglected doing some recaps, but outside of the last two Network specials, I haven’t watched anything when it comes to Raw, Smackdown, or anything in between. That’s my way of saying “expect a lot of bitching from me”, and sorry to upset anyone, but this is not the full (and painful to sit through) 3 hours (plus) version. We’re watching Raw, cut down to 90-minutes, courtesy of Hulu.

- Michael Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Byron Saxton are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted. Booker T is off doing Tough Enough, so we get Saxton. Not to look too into it, but why not use Lawler? Too white?

- Seth Rollins comes out with Chief of Organization Kane and J & J Security (props to Noble returning to TV after suffering three broken ribs at the hands of Brock Lesnar last week). Rollins runs down Lesnar and all the people who suffered his path of destruction (Cena, Reigns, and Undertaker) for the mild beat-down that closed out last week’s episode. Rollins has gifts for everyone: brand new Apple watches. Specifically for Kane: A Hawaiian Vacation, complete with corny music. What the hell am I watching? Oh, and there’s a No DQ Tag Match between Seth and Kane against Reigns and Ambrose thrown in there. But wait… there’s MORE! For J & J Security, a BRAND NEW CADILLAC CTS! Joey Mercury’s enthusiastic response to the gifts has been the only positive moment of this entire segment. Am I watching WWE Raw or the Price is Right? Do I have time to change my mind on having to recap this show?

Big Show vs. Mark Henry:

I guess Big Show didn’t get any gifts, but he gives a mild applause for his “extended” family. I feel like I’ve taken a Delorean ride at 88 mph back to OVW circa 2001. Big Show is in the hunt for the Intercontinental Title, and Henry’s a bottom feeder. Miz joins us for commentary to hype the Triple Threat between himself, Ryback, and Big Show at Battleground. Excuse me while I vomit. Remember their modern day Colossal Connection days? Me neither. Show pounds away in the corner. Henry escapes a goozle and drops Show with a clothesline. Show with the World’s Strongest Splash for two. Show comes back with a big right (KO Punch-Lite), and the KO Punch finishes at 1:23. That was quick. Ryback shows up for a post-match brawl. Miz sneaks in for a cheap shot and quickly scampers away acting like a goofus. They’re allegedly scheduled for a match later… but it’s happening now!

Ryback vs. The Miz:

Non-Title Match, because why not. Miz runs away, but an ambush fails and Ryback surprises him with a Thesz Press. Ryback with a slam into the corner, followed by a hard whip across the ring. Miz hangs him up across the top rope and pounds away across the back. Ryback catches a body press and turns it into a (very, very) delayed suplex for a two count. Miz tries escaping over the barricade, but Ryback follows and continues to punish him. Miz kicks the leg from under Ryback and plants him with a DDT for two. Running boot to the face gets another two count. Ryback escapes a chinlock with rights to the midsection, but Miz quickly takes him down with the back breaker/neck breaker combo for two. Ryback catches a boot and plows through Miz with shoulder tackles. He plants Miz with a spine-buster, and the straps are off! Ryback goes for the Meat-Hook Clothesline, but Miz runs away for the Count-Out at 5:07. Miz had more urgency running from Ryback than Reigns did running after Wyatt last week. * Not much to this one.

Paige vs. Alicia Fox (w/ The Bellas):

(slams head into wall) I’m not going to try and figure any of this out any more. The WWE Diva Division is a lost cause, plain and simple. 2 Weeks Ago, Alicia cost Paige a match against Brie. Lockup and Paige with a takedown. Paige with a hip throw into a cover. Whip to the ropes, Alicia trips over Paige in what may or may not be an intended spot. Remember when Alicia’s gimmick was being out of control and whacky? Me neither. Paige with a much better Thesz Press than Ryback does. Fox with a cheap shot on the floor thanks to a distraction from the Bella’s and we take a break. We return with Alicia in control with a chinlock. Paige escapes and hits a running knee into the corner. Paige with a flurry of knees and three short-arm clotheslines. She comes off the ropes with a dropkick and follows with a Super-Kick for two. Nikki with a distraction, but Alicia’s roll-up fails, and Paige counters for three at 3:31, despite Alicia kicking out so furiously the whole time you’d think she had watched too many Tito Santana matches on the WWE Network. ¾* Paige’s comeback was the only part worth watching.

WWE United States Championship Match:
John Cena © vs. Cesaro:

The U.S. Open Challenge continues! It appears like Cena is defending against Kevin Owens, but he chooses to wait until Battleground Cesaro is looking for something to do while Tyson Kidd recovers from a pretty severe neck injury, so he’s up for the challenge. Cena has defended against the likes of Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Stardust, and even Zack Ryder, to name a few, and has helped re-establish the US Title as something worth fighting for. Cesaro with a waist-lock. Cena escapes and grabs a side headlock. Whip to the ropes and Cena takes him over with a monkey-flip. Lockup, and Cesaro with a headlock. Criss-cross, and this time Cesaro catches Cena with a Power-Slam for two. Cesaro with a chinlock, then quickly turns it into a crucifix. Cesaro with an uppercut, followed by a gut-wrench suplex for two. Cesaro with another uppercut before applying a modified abdominal stretch. Cena rolls through into a cover for two. Cesaro comes off the ropes with a boot to the face for two. Cesaro with a hard-whip to the corner. Cena pops up and surprises him with a dropkick, but a charge to the corner meets turnbuckle. Cesaro with a double-stomp to the chest, followed by a series of forearms across the side of the head for two. Cesaro to the second rope with an elbow drop for another two count. We return from commercial break, with them trading blows. Whip to the ropes, Cesaro flips over to the opposite side, heads to the top rope, and comes off with a flying body press. Cena rolls through it and plants Cesaro with a face-buster for two! Cena with a slow climb to the top rope, allowing Cesaro to knock him to the floor with a dropkick. Cesaro follows with a full speed uppercut, then rolls him back in for a near fall! Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, but Cena counters with a back drop. Cena with the Sunset-Bomb for two! Cesaro escapes the AA and hits the Neutralizer, but it only gets two! Cesaro with a flurry of uppercuts, spinebuster, AND THE GIANT F’N SWING! Sharpshooter is applied… and here’s Kevin Owens with the run-in, making it a No Contest at 10:44. Pop-Up Power-Bomb to Cesaro, Pop-Up Power-Bomb to Cena. Owens says if anyone is beating Cena for the U.S. Title, it will be him. ***1/2 Great TV Match that could’ve used a little more time, but the finish was at least justifiable.

- Bray Wyatt with his usual promo. “Anyone But You”? So is that scraps from the WWE Universe leading into the Main Event of WrestleMania? It’s become a broken record but they need to do something with Wyatt to break away from the standard formula he’s followed for 2 years now.

- Dolph Ziggler and Lana are out to remind us that some people have negative chemistry with each other. Oh My GOD, I’d rather go back and re-watch that opening segment with Seth Rollins giving away gifts. Ziggler and Lana continue to die together until Rusev interrupts, joined by Summer Rae, yet another WWE project that they are just determined to get over, despite showing almost zero ability in the ring. We end this painfully long segment with a CATFIGHT, but without Joey Styles or Jerry Lawler screaming about it, it doesn’t have the same effect.

- Dean Ambrose cuts a promo on a couple of Terminator props until Roman Reigns interrupts. So when is Ambrose going to turn heel on Reigns?

- Incase you missed it, the Rock made a surprise appearance in Boston at a live WWE Event.

Neville vs. Sheamus:

Sheamus is the holder of the Money in the Bank Briefcase… where the hell do they go with that one?! Lockup into the corner. Neville avoids a charge and goes to work on the arm. Sheamus forces a break in the corner and cheap shots Neville with an elbow. Sheamus with a hard side headlock takeover. Whip to the ropes and Neville with a hurricanrana. He tries it again, but Sheamus blocks. He ends up taking Sheamus over the top rope, but Sheamus avoids any chance of a high-risk maneuver. We return from break with Neville unloading with kicks. Neville pulls the ropes down on a charge and follows Sheamus out with an Asai Moonsault! Back in the ring, Neville with a missile dropkick for two! Sheamus misses a charge to the corner. Neville with an enziguri, but Sheamus kicks him off the ropes before he could go for the Red Arrow. Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick and Neville rolls him up for two. Brogue Kick attempt #2 connects for three at 5:33. ** Good match for what it was, but JBL’s commentary was unbearable during the whole thing.

Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Kane (w/ J & J Security):

No Disqualification Main Event! Smell the ratings… actually, don’t. Ambrose/Rollins and Reigns/Kane pair-up to kick things off. Ambrose sends Rollins out of the ring with a clothesline and follows with a suicide dive. Double-Suplex on Kane. Rollins shoves Ambrose off the top rope and lures Reigns into a big boot from the Big Corporate Machine. We return from the last commercial break with Rollins in control of a chinlock on Roman. If it’s No DQ, why honor traditional tag team rules? Logic in Wrestling. Rollins meets turnbuckle on a dive. Kane cuts off the tag but meets boot on a charge. Reigns from the second rope with a clothesline. Ambrose tags in and unloads on Rollins. That’s some fine mud-hole stomping. Ambrose with a running bulldog on Rollins and dropkick to knock Kane off the apron. He sends Rollins to the floor as well, and comes off the top with his signature elbow drop. Mercury gets dumped into the timekeeper’s station, and Noble wisely hobbles away. Ambrose with his funky “roll in/roll out” clothesline on Rollins, and its time to pull out the hardware.

J & J pull the table away, allowing Rollins to sneak in with a roll up. Super-Kick gets two. Reigns plants Rollins with a Power-Bomb, then hits Kane with a diving clothesline. He no-sells a kendo stick blow and tees off on Mercury and Kane. Superman Punch to Kane, Superman Punch to Mercury, Superman Punch in mid-air to Rollins! Suddenly Bray Wyatt shows up and works over Reigns, including a Rock Bottom onto the ring steps. You have to love how they ruin Reigns seconds after getting the crowd hot for him! Ambrose fights out of a Chokeslam and lays Kane out with a clothesline. Rollins interrupts Dirty Deeds. Ambrose counters the Pedigree, but Kane interrupts with a Chokeslam. Rollins with the Pedigree for three at 8:20. Rollins and company with a Post-Match beatdown to really kill the crowd. *1/2 Standard affair for Raw Main Events.

Final Thoughts: That 90-minutes run-time is a lie. With constant commercial interruptions, ON A PAID SERVICE, I feel a little ripped off and feel like I wasted my time with Hulu (Editor's Note: Sayyyyyy.. remember when EVERY cable channel was without commericals? Nobody seems to care that "pay TV/cable" has had commercials for almost 30 years, now). Maybe I’m just bitter because this episode was really lacking. Yeah, we got a good match out of Cena and Cesaro (big surprise there, right?), but the creative direction is lacking, and whoever is writing for Seth Rollins really needs to go. How many times are they going to crush Reigns after he wins over crowds? How many times can Bray Wyatt be creepy and keep fans caring?

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